March 2, command commenced moving at daylight for a few miles over rich, rolling country, with fine plantations. Passing through Livingston, a town of about half a dozen frame houses, 13 miles from Canton, we entered a more hilly oak and pine country. Roads up to this point were very heavy on account of rain. Moving on slowly, encamped about 2 miles east of Bogue Chitto. Good camping-ground, but water poor and inconvenient. No forage or provisions to be found. Weather clear and pleasant. Length of march, 15 miles. About 1 1/2 miles east of Livingston there is a very bad, swampy tract, about one-half mile in extent, with raised corduroy road, bridges, & c.; would be very easily obstructed and rendered impassable.
March 3, at daylight the Fourth Division pioneer corps proceeded to reconstruct and strengthen the bridge across Bogue Chitto, and repair and corduroy road upon west side. Command commenced moving at 7 a. m. After all had crossed the bridge was destroyed. Our route to-day was over high, rolling country, several fine plantations, but little signs of cultivation. About 1 p. m. passed through Brownsville, a small, wooden town with few inhabitants, 31 miles from Canton. The roads were quite heavy, having been considerably cut up by the train, which passed over them during the rain. We encamped on good ground on Hall's plantation. Water scarce. No forage or provisions in the country. Weather clear and pleasant. Length of march, 18 miles.
March 4, command commenced moving at 6 o'clock southwest over good road; high, rolling country; 5 1/2 miles to intersection of main Vicksburg and Jackson road, and thence west on Vicksburg and Jackson road over a low, flat country to Big Black River, crossing pontoon bridge built in January. The Fourth Division moved to their old camping-ground near Hebron's. The First Brigade, Third Division, remained at the bridge. The Second and Third Brigades, Third Division, and Third Brigade, First Division, moved on into Vicksburg, 14 miles. Length of march, 25 miles.
Recapitulation of distances traveled. - Fourteen miles from Vicksburg to Big Black River; 32 miles from Big Black River to Jackson; 50 1/2 miles from Jackson to Hillsborough; 25 1/2 miles from Hillsborough to Decatur; 29 1/2 miles from Decatur to Meridian; total, 151 1/2 miles from Vicksburg to Meridian; 19 miles from Meridian to Enterprise; 13 miles from Enterprise to Quitman, 32 miles from Meridian to Quitman; 55 miles from Meridian to Hillsborough; 38 miles from Hillsborough to Canton; 31 miles from Canton to Brownsville; 20 miles from Brownsville to Big Black bridge; 14 miles from Big Black to Vicksburg; 373 1/2 miles, total distance marched from Vicksburg to Quitman and return.
Recapitulation of work performed by the pioneer corps of the Third and Fourth Divisions. - One thousand two hundred and ten feet of bridging; 23, 740 feet of corduroying.
The men of the pioneer corps worked cheerfully and faithfully whenever called upon, and I am very much indebted to the pioneer and engineer officers and assistants for their prompt and energetic co-operation.
Very respectfully submitted.
Captain Fifth Ohio Battery, and Chief Eng., 17th Army Corps.
Major General J. B. MCPHERSON.