War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0319 Chapter XLIV. THE MERIDIAN EXPEDITION.

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her appearance for sometime of my hour fixed for starting, about noon I left Satartia and proceeded up the river, and was fully prepared and expected to meet with an engagement at Liverpool, but was surprised not to find any of the enemy at that point. Arriving at Goosey's Mill, 4 miles below Yazoo City, I signaled the boats to proceed up the river, preceded by two of the gun-boats, the two gun-boats passing the city and the transports landing within a mile of the city.

In the mean time, when at Goosey's Mill, I dispatched a small but effective force of the First Mississippi Cavalry, African descent, Major Cook commanding, and ordered them to proceed up the west bank of the river until opposite the city. Arriving at a point opposite the city, he encountered a small force of the enemy, and after a slight skirmish succeeded in capturing 2 men and 4 horses.

The enemy have moved south on the Bolton road and toward the Vicksburg and Jackson road.

Respectfully,

JAS. H. COATES,

Commanding Yazoo River Expedition.

Lieutenant Colonel W. T. CLARK,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,

Yazoo City, Miss., March 2, 1864.

GENERAL: I had the honor to communicating with you 28th ultimo, since which time I have been in the occupation of this city; not, however, without some little difficultly, as I am almost constantly engaged in skirmishing with the enemy. He comes up and drives my pickets in. I then run him off completely. This occurs two or three times per day. It keeps us watchful, but I am under no apprehension at all, for I can hold this place, without a doubt, against fire times my numbers. The defenses are strong, and the approaches to them difficult. I was pleased to-day at receiving a communication from Colonel Crandal, dated at Satartia, and saying he was moving for Liverpool. This is just what is wanted if we are to hold this point. I have information that a portion of the force (rebel) here had gone to Liverpool, as I supposed they would.

The force opposing me is Ross' brigade of about 1,400 men, and are encamped at 2 miles beyond Benton, 12 miles from here. They will re-enforced, I am reliably informed, by Jackson's command, some 5,000 men, but whether for an attack upon me or not I am not prepared to say. I have this intelligence from an employe of mine, who has been with them for two days and returned to-day. Since hearing from Colonel Crandal I have concluded to send the fleet forward all except the Sir William Wallace, which I desire to keep here for foraging and other purposes for the benefit of the Government.

The cotton I wrote you as being claimed by Forsyth I have given permission to ship to you and have you decide the legality of the purchase.

I have my tents pitched, camps established, and everything looks cheering, with enough fighting to create a healthy circulation of the blood.