War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0511 Chapter XXXVI. EXPEDITION TO GREENVILLE, MISS., ETC.

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Yesterday they advanced with large infantry force, drove in my cavalry until they reached the spot where the latter had bivouacked, then fell back to their boats. I thought the movement meant to cover their embarkation, but this morning Captain [G.] Barnes sends me word that their movements indicate an advance. That was about two hours ago. I have just learned that they yesterday examined Blantona, the residence of Mrs. Theobald, with the view of converting it into a hospital. They also commenced pitching tents in a clover field near her house, and inquired the number of healthy negro women, with the view of making of them nurses for small-pox patients. They have long talked to the citizens along the river of their purpose of establishing a post at Greenville. They may have told the truth for once.

Two boats landed troops yesterday and one went off. Not known whether or not she took troops with her.

The water is rising in Black Bayou at the rate of about 6 inches in twenty-four hours. If this continues, it will soon render the swamp impassable. I have sent this morning to make another cut, to throw the water from Deer Creek into it, which will also overflow the road from here to Choctaw Bend.

I am quite sick and barely able to move about; wish you could spare time to ride up here and look for yourself.

Very truly,&c., your obedient servant,

S. W. FERGUSON,

Colonel, Commanding.

Brigadier General STEPHEN D. LEE,

Commanding, &c.

COURTNEY'S PLACE, DEER CREEK, April 14, 1863- 2 p. m.

GENERAL: I have delayed sending an express to you to-day, until I could ascertain something positive in regard to the enemy. I have just learned that there are at present thirteen transports at Greenville Landing. Constant skirmishing goes on between their pickets and ours. Two transports, one very large and one small, passed down yesterday, loaded with troops, without stopping at Greenville. Seven transports loaded with troops, wagons, tents, &c., passed down to-day, without stopping. One gunboat and one transport, loaded with horses, passed up to-day.

I sent yesterday to Chickasaw Bend to have the levee cut. The party sent reported to me this morning no water against the levee, and that twenty boats, apparently, from the noise, loaded with troops, passed that point during the previous night. I can get no positive information of their having passed Greenville, although, as it was at night, and I had no pickets just on the bank, they could have passed without its being known. The Yankee bridge across Black Bayou is washed away, and my pickets now have to swim the stream to get near the Yankees. The account of the boats passing down, which I send you, includes only those of which I have positive knowledge; others may have passed without my knowing it.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. W. FERGUSON,

Colonel, Commanding.

Brigadier General STEPHEN D. LEE,

Commanding, &c.