General [Louis] Hebert, at Snyder's Mill, has taken charge on Deer Creek since my return.
STEPHEN D. LEE.
Major [J. J.] REEVE,
A. A. G., 2nd Dist., Dept. MISS. and E. La., Vicksburg, MISS.
P. S. - I inclose two sketches from the creek, which will explain the references. *
Reports of Colonel Samuel W. Ferguson, C. S. Army, commanding Detachment.
MOUTH OF ROLLING FORK, March 20, 1863.
MAJOR: I, yesterday, on my arrival here, dispatched in great haste to you. Since then I have advanced with infantry and cavalry, which joined me after marching down Deer Creek about 4 miles up Rolling Fork, and have succeeded in getting three pieces of artillery over the bat portion of the road, yesterday deemed impassable. I have been busy cutting timber into Rolling Fork and obstructing it. Already enough has been done to detain the boats two or three days, if unopposed. If re-enforcements do not arrive in time, and I have to abandon this point, we lose all the country drained by Deer Creek, Bogue Phaliah, Sunflower, and Yazoo, unless we can oppose them with cotton-boats in these latter. From the point at which they reached Deer Creek they can, by going down, enter the Yazoo above Haynes' Landing. If they have done this, I am already cut off. It is impossible for me yet to ascertain their force in this section. I know of seven boats positively, and have myself seen the smoke and steam from those in advance. They have not yet advanced into Rolling Fork by boat.
Day before yesterday I sent the Emma Bett on Bogue Phaliah, about 8 miles below Fall's Landing, and ordered her to got at once to latter point, take on board the animals and baggage I had left, stop at mouth of Bogue, and take on section of artillery there, then join me here. It is now about 9 a. m., and she has not yet come up. I expected her last night. The guns warn me to the front. Kept the Sharp here to fall back on, and, if the Bett comes, will at once send her with this dispatch.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. W. FERGUSON,
Major J. J. REEVE, Assistant Adjutant-General.
P. S. - Colonel Ferguson left this for me to add any additional news. There is none. Emma Bett arrived.
JOHN J. REEVE,
CAMP ON DEER CREEK, March 30, 1863.
MAJOR: I have the honor to report that on the 17th instant a battalion of sharpshooters, about 250 strong, under Captain
[John H.] Morgan, reported to me on Deer Creek at my camp, about 40 miles above
* See pp. 462, 463.
30 R R-VOL XXIV, PT. I