War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0321 Chapter XLIV. THE MERIDIAN EXPEDITION.

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board the transports assigned for the purpose, and disposing of them to the best advantage, and conveyed by fire gun-boats, under command of Captain Owen, moved up the river, arriving the same night at the mouth of the Yazoo River, where we remained during the night, taking on sufficient fuel to last two weeks.

On the morning of the 1st of February, I moved up the Yazoo River, arriving at Haynes' Bluff the same evening, taking on a small detachment of the First Mississippi Cavalry, African descent, under command of Major Cook.

On the following morning I moved up the river without interruption until until within a mile of Satartia, where the enemy were reported to be, when I disembarked Major McKee with the left wing of the Eleventh Illinois Infantry, and Major Cook with his small detachment of cavalry, with orders to move through the town and toward the bluffs. But few of the enemy's pickets were seen, who fled at our approach. I embarked my men again at Satartia, and on the following morning (February 3) moved up the river to within 2 miles of Liverpool Heights, when the enemy opened on my advance with two pieces of artillery. I immediately moved my transports down out of range and disembarked the troops and made preparations to engage him, having ascertained the force to be Brigadier-General Ross' Texan brigade and numbering about 1,400 men.

I ordered Major McKee with the left wing of the Eleventh Illinois Infantry to move upon the extreme left with skirmishers advanced, the right wing of the Eleventh in the center moving in the same manner, and the Eighth Louisiana Infantry, African descent, on the right and right center, to move forward with the Eleventh. We were soon warmly engaged, the enemy falling back to a hastily constructed breast-work of logs, &c., where they made a desperate stand. At this juncture Major McKee ordered a charge with the right wing only of the Eleventh Illinois Infantry (the left wing being engaged with the enemy's skirmishers), but the enemy being in far superior numbers and having advantage of position, he was obliged to fall back to his former position under cover of a hill; not, however, without punishing the enemy severely, as could be seen by the removal of their wounded. The Eighth Louisiana Infantry, African descent, in the mean time had moved to the right and had engaged the enemy on the flank, but were compelled by superior numbers to fall back to their original position, being still at close range. Heavy skirmishing now began between my force and the enemy, which continued until nearly sunset, when I gave the signal, and the entire command moved back to their respective boats in good order, removing our wounded with them.

From observations I had made I was led to believe that the enemy expected me to renew the attack the following morning, and was more fully and better prepared to meet me, and knowing their superiority of numbers and large advantage of position, and with two pieces of artillery, and as they were out of range of the gun-boats, I concluded it to be a better policy to move up the river, in order to keep them near me, as was designed by Major-General Sherman.

On the morning of the 4th, I again moved up the river, and, when nearly opposite the point where we had the engagement the day before, the enemy opened a brisk fire of musketry on the transports, permitting the advance gun-boats to pass unmolested. My men immediately formed temporary breast-works of boxes of hard bread, knapsacks, &c., and returned the fire which good effect. Five of my