Creek. Their precise strength I could not ascertain, but they had six pieces of artillery, and from 600 to 1,000 cavalry and infantry. At Dr. Thomas' plantation they received re-enforcements from Rolling Fork, including two 10-pounder Parrotts. Here they drew up in line of battle and opened on us with their artillery. It was an open field between us, and I advanced upon them in line, using all my artillery. They fled before the infantry became engaged. My troops had made a fatiguing march, and we encamped on the place the enemy had just left.
The next morning, I sent out a force to ascertain where the enemy were. They had moved toward Rolling Fork, where it was said they were to receive large re-enforcements. For reasons which I will explain in my official report to General Sherman, I then started back to this place, bringing about 1,000 head of stock, horses, mules, and beef cattle. There are also a number of ox-wagons, carts, buggies,&c. A great many negroes have followed the command. I wish you would send up six boats to carry the stock,&c. I advised all the negroes that asked my advice to stay on the plantations where they belonged, except two engineers and a blacksmith. Please send me instructions as to what shall be done with these poor creatures. In many instances our men burned up everything there was to eat on the plantations, in spite of all mu endeavors to prevented it. It is estimated by some of the officers that we burned 500,000 bushels of corn. There were 25,000 bushels burned at Thompson's, which the negroes said were destined for Vicksburg. We have lost a considerable number of stragglers, some of whom were taken because they wished to be, no doubt. One man of my escort was killed, and one other cavalryman wounded. The enemy made his appearance on our rear to day while we were bridging Black Bayou, at French's plantation, but were soon dispersed, with the loss of 1 man on our part. We have 1 lieutenant and 2 privates prisoners. I send this dispatch by Major [B. H.] Peterson. Please send me orders in regard to my future movements.
I am told that there are 150 bales of cotton 7 or 8 miles from here, belonging to a Mr. Miller, rebel. I could probably get it into the river if it would be proper to mark it S. A. Douglas. The enemy have five or six boats on Bogue Phaliah and a landing about 2 miles from Deer Creek, high up; a good road leading across and several bridges.
Very truly, yours,
FRED K. STEELE,
Major General U. S. GRANT.
Number 2. Reports of Major General Carter L. Stevenson, C. S. Army, commanding SECOND Military District. Vicksburg, April 8, 1863. (Received April 8.)
The enemy are in force against Ferguson. The force now under Lee is six regiments and battalion light artillery, and very little cavalry. He needs very much the latter. Please order back two companies of Waul's Legion.
C. L. STEVENSON,