War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0237 Chapter XLIV. THE MERIDIAN EXPEDITION.

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February 25, moved at 10.45 a. m. Marched 6 miles, and camped 3 miles from Pearl River. Forage plenty.

February 26, crossed Pearl River at 2 p. m. Marched 16 miles, and camped near Canton at 8 p. m. One man shot accidentally through left thigh while foraging.

February 27, all sick and lame men and extra teams sent forward. At 4 p. m. marched through town, and camped 1 mile southeast of court-house. At 8 p. m., when two-thirds of the regiment were asleep, the bugle sounded "Fall in." The One hundred and twenty-fourth was in line in five minutes, and led the brigade out of camp. Proceeded about one-eighth of a mile, when ordered back to camp.

February 28, to-day Adjutant Smith, who, by order of General Force, had been placed in command of the mounted men of the brigade and made several captures of stock of provisions, being out on a similar scout with 38 men, fell in with a large force of rebel cavalry when 7 miles from Canton, on his return to camp on the Jackson road. After a gallant fight of upward of one hour, and a loss of 5 or more wounded, it was necessary to retreat to avoid capture, and the horses and equipments of the men were abandoned to the enemy; many of the animals, however, being shot and badly maimed. The regiment was ordered out to their assistance, but ordered back at the pickets, hearing that no aid could be rendered.

March 1, received orders to be ready to move at 8 a. m. The adjutant reported at 9 a. m. corporal and 6 men of his party still missing. Moved at 12.30 p. m. Marched 5 miles, and camped at 11 p. m.

March 2, the First Brigade being ordered to hold the hills and cover the retirement of the entire corps, the One hundred and twenty-fourth was deployed on the right of the road in front, supported by the Thirty-first Illinois Infantry. Companies A and F were deployed as skirmishers. The army being across the bridge, the brigade at 12.30 fell back, and, taking its place in the column, marched through Brownsville, camping at 8 p. m. - a march of 18 miles.

March 4, started at 7.30 a. m., One hundred and twenty-fourth in extreme rear. Crossed Big Black at 2 p. m.

Recapitulation: Number of miles traveled, 304; number of miles of railroad destroyed, 2 1/2; number of feet of bridge destroyed, 250; number wounded (1 mortally), 4; number missing in action, 7.

J. H. HOWE,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Regiment.

Captain J. B. WALKER,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

Numbers 27. Report of Brigadier General Marcellus M. Crocker, U. S. Army, commanding Fourth Division, of expedition to Meridian.

HDQRS. FOURTH DIVISION, SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

Hebron, Miss., March 6, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to report that the Fourth Division, of the Seventeenth Army Corps, broke camp on the 3rd day of February, 1864, and crossed the Big Black River at the railroad bridge the same day, camping on the Jackson road, about 5 miles from the river.

On the 4th of February, the Fourth Division had the advance, and at Champion's Hill encountered the enemy's cavalry. The Second