my crossing Big Black with the artillery, I advanced with my command to the support of Colonels Adams and Russell. Being informed, after reaching these officers, that the enemy had fallen back to Vicksburg, none bing near than 25 miles, and the battery being in bad condition, horses poor and broken down, harness old and badly worn, and it having been fully demonstrated that our field artillery had no effect upon the enemy's gunboats and iron-clad transports, these considerations influenced te to recross the river with the battery. Knowing the great importance of procuring supplies for the army, and having learned that there were plenty in the vicinity of Yazoo CITY, I directed Lieutenant-Colonel Wood commanding Wirth Adam's cavalry, to proceed ; in that direction and collect and move them in the direction of Vaughn's Station as rapidly as possible. Learning night before last, through my scouts and pickets, that the enemy were agin advancing, I recrossed Big Black, and advanced up the Dover road a few miles in order the ore seedily to concentrate my command and communicate with Colonel Ferguson. Colonel Wirt Adams joining me this morning before day, I advanced with my main column to within 2 miles of Mechanicsburg, driving them back steadily beyond the suburbs of the town. Learning that the enemy were in force that the determined to retire slowly, engaging them at all available points. The skirmishers are still engaging the enemy, they shilling the woods at they advance.
I am, major, yours very respectfully,
Brigadier-General Provisional Army of the Confederate States.
Major A. P., Mason,
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY BRIGADE.
June 5, 1863-6. 15 a. m.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to state that in answer to dispatch just received which was in answer to my dispatch of yesterday rounded, I would respectfully reply that Mechanicsburg, which stated that I was nearly surrounded, I wounded respectfully reply that last night 7. 30 I communicated to you all the facts in regard to the enemy and my movements that I was compelled of fall back to this position. Up to this hour no information has been received from my scouts or pickets that the enemy had advanced farther than a few miles this side of Mechanicsburg. Major Bridges, with his command of Colonel Ferguson's command, has just arrived.
As I stated last night, there were six or seven transports and two or three gunboats at Satartia making nine in all. The troops from the transports were landed rapidly and advanced immediately on me, also advancing on the Ridge road and Bear Creek road in large force making two forces form me to contend with. I checked them at Mechanicsburg from 10 a. m. yesterday until 2 p. m. . On account of their overwhelming number, fearful of losing my battery, and their nearly surrounding me, I was compelled to fall back to this position. My first intention was to form line 5 miles this side of Mechanicsburg, but THE enemy's cavalry pressed me so closely that I had to fall back