The SIXTEENTH being in advance, was encamped near the ford while the other regiments took a position nearly a mile in the rear.
On the morning of the 4th, by order of Colonel Cambers, commanding brigade, I sent four companies, under Captain Smith, senior captain on the regiment and a company of cavalry, across the river, with directions to clear a rod about 2 miles back to a position stated. Major Purcell shortly afterward joined the regiment, and following the detachment across the river, relieved Captain Smith of his command. They had skirmishing with the enemy, and were finally driven back to recross the river with the four companies of infantry, the cavalry havrned, and no other movement from our camp was made that day.
On the afternoon of the 4th, we received the gratifying news of the surrender of Vicksburg.
During the interval covered by this report we had no men killed. Private William Vontress, of Company K, was shot in the leg by a rebel sharpshooter while with others viewing a rebel battery. His leg was amputated, and he afterward died in the DIVISION hospital. First Lieutenant Purcell, of Company C, was slightly wounded by a piece of shell in the skirmish of May 22. Have no men to report as MISSING during this interval.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ADD. H. SANDERS,
Lieutenant-Colonel, commanding SIXTEENTH Iowa Infantry.
Lieutenant OD. KINSMAN.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, THIRD Brigade,&c.
Number,58. Report of Captain John Smith, SIXTEENTH Iowa Infantry. HDQRS. SIXTEENTH IOWA VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, June 28, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report to you result of the expedition of six companies of the SIXTEENTH Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry to Jones' Ford.
We left camp according to orders about 6 a. m. marched direct to Messinger's Ferry. When near this place, I found the enemy occupied the opposite side of the river with a force of from 40 to 50 cavalry. The negros on the Messinger farm reported to me that the enemy were making preparations to plant a battery on the opposite side of the river. I took some pains to satisfy myself as to this, but saw nothing that and marched for that place. Leaving one company to keep the enemy miles above Messinger's Ferry. We found Jones Ford about 2 miles above Messinger's. I found that we could no nothing in the way of obstructing this ford. It is not possible to cross this ford with artillery or wagons without first expending such an amount of labor as would make a crossing anywhere on the river near this ford. I therefore ordered my command back, and, when we arrived at Messinger's place, I found that during my absence the enemy had thrown out skirmishers, and opened a brisk harmless fire on the company left by me, which was returned with spirit by this company.
Having complied as nearly as possible with the instructions received,