CAMP ON DEER CREEK, WASHINGTON CO., March 18, 1863.
Major J. J. REEVE,
MAJOR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch of the 14th instant, yesterday. The infantry, under Captain Morgan, arrived at my camp near Fall's Landing yesterday afternoon. I did not order him immediately back to Rolling Fork, as the enemy, in force, is within a few miles of me, having landed at Lake America, in which vicinity they are pillaging and taking off cotton. As soon as I learned they had landed, I dispatched Captain [George] Barnes with all the available cavalry force to oppose them, and to burn all cotton they could reach. His reports will explain what he accomplished. The 3 prisoners taken I send down in irons, the only method I can resort to, to carry out your order of close confinement, and as retaliation for the treatment of my prisoners while in their power on the 23rd of February, who during that time were cursed, threatened with hanging, and robbed of everything on their persons, including watches and money. These men belong to a party which is robbing citizens of every article they can lay hands on, trying to incite insurrection among the slaves. Two of my men, with flag of truce, were taken off on the 6th instant, and no answer has been returned to my inquiries on the subject.
MARCH 19-4 p. m.
Have just arrived with infantry and four pieces of artillery at junction of Rolling Fork with Little Sunflower.
Will make every effort to hold the enemy in check long enough for re-enforcements to reach me. If the enemy get into the Sunflower, there is nothing to prevent their reaching Yazoo City. I inclose the various dispatches received by me. The last, from Captain Barnes, shows that the expedition is formidable. I cannot move the artillery up Rolling Fork by boat, on account of high water, and the steamer cannot take it. I have not an acre of dry land for it to operate on. The enemy have cut the levee at Lake Bolivar, so as to furnish water in Deer Creek.
In great haste, very respectfully, &c.,
S. W. FERGUSON.
EDWARDS DEPOT, March 18, 1863.
The Anna Perrette left Big Black Bridge this morning at 8 o'clock, with heavy guns. None are remaining at the landing. Break on road. Can get no farther to-night.
C. A. FULLER,
Colonel and Asst. Inspector-General Heavy Artillery.
[Telegraphed to Bowen.]
GRAND GULF, March 18, 1863.
Colonel WIRT ADAMS,
COLONEL: On the reverse PAGE you will find the instructions sent General Bowen in relation to cavalry movements and the steamer Anna Perrette. * He supposes that the necessary steps have already been taken by you, as directed by order sent to-day.
In order to insure the safety of boats in Big Black, the general requests