Northern Railroad at Hazlehurst, and, after destroying as much of the road as possible, endeavor to get upon the flank of the enemy and co-operate with our forces, should they be successful in the attack upon Grand Gulf and Port Gibson.
Having obtained during this day plenty of forage and provisions, and having had one good night's rest, we now again felt ready for any emergency. Accordingly, at 6 o'clock on the morning of the 26th, we crossed Leaf River, burning the bridge behind us to prevent any enemy who might be in pursuit from following; thence through Raleigh, capturing the sheriff of that country, with about $ 3,000 in Government funds; thence to Westville, reaching this place soon after dark. Passing on about 2 miles, we halted to feed, in the midst of a heavy rain, on the plantation of Mr. Williams.
After feeding, Colonel Prince, of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry, with two battalions, was sent immediately forward to Pearl River to secure the ferry and landing. He arrived in time to capture a courier who had come to bring intelligence of the approach of the Yankees and orders for the destruction of the ferry. With the main column, I followed in about two hours. We ferried and swam our horses, and succeeded in crossing the whole command by 2 p. m.
As soon as Colonel Price had crossed his two battalions, he was ordered to proceed immediately to the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad, striking it at Hazlehurst. Here he found a number of cars containing about 500 loaded shells and a large quantity of commissary and quartermaster's stores, intended for Grand Gulf and Port Gibson. These were destroyed, and as much of the railroad and telegraph as possible. Here, again, we found the citizens armed to resist us, but they fled precipitately upon our approach.
From this point we took a northwest course to Gallatin, 4 miles; thence southwest 3 1/2 miles to the plantation of Mr. Thompson, where we halted until the next morning.
Directly after leaving Gallatin we captured a 64-pounder gun, a heavy wagon load of ammunition, and machinery for mounting the gun, on the road to Port Gibson. The gun was spiked and the carriages and ammunition destroyed. During the afternoon it rained in torrents, and the men were completely drenched.
At 6 o'clock the next morning, April 28, we moved ward. After proceeding a short distance, I detached a battalion of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry, under Captain Trafton, to proceed back to the railroad at Bahala and destroy the road, telegraph, and all Government property he might find. With the rest of the command, I moved southwest toward Union Church. We halted to feet at 2 p. m. on the plantation of Mr. Snyder, about 2 miles northeast of the church. While feeding, our pickets were fired upon by a considerable force. I immediately moved out upon them, skirmished with and drove them through the town, wounding and capturing a number. It proved to be a part of Wirt Adams' (Mississippi) cavalry. After driving them off, we held the town and bivouacked for the night. After accomplishing the object of his expedition, Captain Trafton returned to us about 3 o'clock in the morning of the 29th, having come upon the rear of the main body of Adams' command. The enemy having a battery of artillery, it was his intention to attack us in front and rear at Union Church about daylight in the morning, but the appearance of Captain Trafton with a force in his rear changed his purpose, and, turning to the right, he took the direct road to Port Gibson. From this point I made a strong demonstration toward Fayette, with a view of creating the impression that we were going toward Port