from the enemy. He then move above, and attacked a large transport during the night, crippling to the other bank, where she moored, being too much crippled to proceed. She replied With a 12-pounder rifled piece, and then withdrew to the east bank and shelled our force to three hours. Soon after a gunboat came along and shelled the woods for several miles. Nobody was hurt on our side. Colonel Campbell that Reports our guns are entirely too light to much damage. The boats were of our range on the east bank of the river. IT is his opinion that With 12-pounder pieces the enemy could be seriously damaged. He Reports forage and subsistence in abundance in Crittened Country for a brigade for a month. If the enemy's communications are to be embarrassed we must have heavy guns. My pickets, 18 miles above Helena on the river, report that they saw the wreck of boats on the 17th and heard heavy firing on the other side for fire hours, supposed to be by General Chalmers. My scouts went within 4 miles of Helena on the 17th, and are now in its immediate vicinity. They report that Prentiss had gone to Vicksburg.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major Henry Ewing,
JUNE 18, 1863. -Affair at Birdsong Ferry, big Black River, MISS.
Report of Major John H. Hammond, assistant Adjutant-General, u. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH IOWA Cavalry,
June 18, 1863.
GENERAL: I this morning started for Jones'(Birdsong)Ferry, distant 12 miles; good road, but hilly. While at the ferry With the major and one company, 120 rebels came from the swamp above Jones' house, and about 25 men, and advanced guard, exchanged shots With them, our mein body being out of sight and the small party threatened. Major [Cornelius F.]Spearman, senior cavalry officer, ordered a charge from a favorable position on the right flank. The yell and rush an unexcepted quarter alarmed the secesh, two fled, pursued on rear and flank. On successful pursuit was stopped by a deep gully, over which but half a dozen horses were able to pass. The two advanced companies were dismounted, and advanced in a very handsome manner into the timber, excepting to find the enemy in the swamps covering the ford, which is now deep, although good. Finding that it was a flight, pursuit was recommenced and continued to the Marley Farm, within 13 miles of Mechanicsburg, where many scattered. Our horses being tired, and we getting into close quarters, we withdrew and returned to Camp, bringing in many cattle and sheep. I ordered Jones' and Harris' corn to be burned, at it was evidently used for hostile purposes. I dot know to the enemy were. They move in good order, were informed, and armed With carbines. All the men and officers under my observation behaved as well as men could.