ordered to report to your adjutant-general in arrest. I had put him on a special service, and before it is competed he sends me the letter referred to. I need not remark that I did not make the speeches of which he complains in his first, but the men of his command do most openly proclaim his a coward. One thing is certain; he is totally inefficient, and I have no use for him. The company I have placed under command of Lieutenant [L. L.] Maughas, of [H. M.] Bledsoe's battery, who, in the little time he has it, accomplishes more than it ever did before, and I only wish he had more rank, that I might put him in command of the squadron. I hope a court of inquiry will be granted Lieutenant Garrett, of he desires it. If the troops are continued here, and you can send me a 4-pounder gun with ammunition, I will be able to equip, man, and make good use of it. I inclose report of Colonel Pettus, just received. As I have no instructions in regard to his command in the event that all is quiet on the Sunflower, and his orders seem to contemplate his return to Vicksburg, I will order him there to-morrow morning, to start as soon as it is light enough to navigate. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. W. FERGUSON,
P. S. - No news of importance from Skipwith's Landing to-day. No dispatch yet from Greenville.
STEAMER DEWDROP, Rolling Fork, April 18, 1863.
Major J. J. REEVE, Assistant Adjutant-General, Vicksburg:
SIR: On the evening of the 10th instant, the Dewdrop, with this detachment, reached Bobo's plantation, at the fork of Sunflower Bayou (as the stream is commonly called); that is the highest point
to which the boat could run. It is on sec. 23, township 27, range 4. Scouts were sent out to Yazoo Pass, Mud Lake, Friar's Point, Lewis' Swamp, and Stokes' Bayou, on the Mississippi River. The scouts sent to Yazoo Pass saw nothing of the movements of the enemy, but they were informed by General Alcorn, who resides there, that during the 7th, 8th, and 9th instant six gunboats and thirty-six transports, loaded with troops, negroes, horses, wagons, and light artillery, came out through the Pass into the Mississippi River. During the afternoon of Saturday, the 11th instant, six gunboats passed Lewis' Swamp, going down the river. On the next day, eleven stern-wheel and three side-wheel transports passed the same point, going down. These transports, except two, were crowded with troops, and appeared to be very much broken about the upper parts, especially on the sides toward the stern. Some had their chimneys down, and two had only one chimney each. The two which appeared to have no troops on board were well loaded, but the scouts could not tell its nature.
During Monday, the 13th instant, four side-wheel and seven steam transports, all loaded with troops, passed Lewis' Swamp, going down the Mississippi River. Eight pieces of light artillery were seen on these last boats.
During these three days several boats passed up the river, but none of them seemed to have any troops on board. The banks on the Mississippi River were examined almost continuously from Yazoo Pass to Stokes' Bayou, which touches the Mississippi about 12 miles (by land) below Lewis' Swamp. There was no appearance of the enemy at any