War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0034 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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channel being much obstructed by heavy timber, drift-wood, logs, &c., some few points (in order to give room for boats to turn) require cutting off. The channel at many places would require and excavation of 3 to 5 feet in depth. It is my opinion that the whole amount of excavation required in Big Bayou would be equal to 500 yards in length, and width of 50 to 25 feet, and a depth of 15 feet; the distance from the river to the junction of Willow Bayou being 8 miles. Willow Bayou opens with 10-foot banks, which character it retains, except that the banks gradually recede for 2 miles, when the whole merges into a swamp, 20 feet width at base and 10 feet at top, with an average height of 10 feet. From this point the bayou could easily be made navigable by clearing away a small quantity of timber. The main length of Willow Bayou is 9 miles. Roundaway Bayou opens with a fine sheet of water. It has an average width of 75 yards, with 10 to 15 feet of water and 10-foot banks, and but little labor would be required, such as cutting away timber along its banks, in order to give free passage to the boats. I explored about 4 miles of Roundaway Bayou, 1 1/2 miles below the railroad. I was here compelled to abandon by exploration from the fact that there was no possible pass on this side of the bayou, and as all bridges and ferries have been destroyed by the enemy in ordered to prevent out crossing, I did not deem it safe to cross with my small command, with no means of falling back should we be attacked by a heavy force, and for the further reason that I was convinced the whole project is impracticable at this season of the year. During low water it would be a matter of labor and time.

We were fired upon just after kindling our fires on the morning of the 4th, wounding one of the Thirtieth Ohio Volunteer Infantry seriously; and again while with a guard of 6 men I was trying to find a road by which to pursue my survey, wounding a private of the Eighth Missouri.

I was much indebted to Captain Hart, of the Eighth Missouri, and all the officers with me, for their ready co-operation, and to Dr. A. L. Flint for his attention and efficiency, and am pleased to say that the entire march was marked by the best of order.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain, Commanding Expedition.


Columbus, Ky., February 5, 1863-2 p. m.

Major General C. S. HAMILTON,

Commanding District of WEST Tennessee, Memphis, Tenn.:

Returned last night from Island Number 10. Was unable to find any trace of the rebel force reported by the gunboat officer, William C. Hanford. Only small bands of rebel guerrillas are swarming around.

I ordered that seven guns be immediately unspiked and properly remounted, for the defense of the island, and balance, seventy-two guns, with carriages and other valuable ordnance stores, be shipped to Memphis.