it was not considered prudent to assault it, as it was defended by about 400 infantry and surrounded by a ditch. Generals Ross and Richardson retired from the city about sunset, and the enemy evacuated the place the next day. This was a gallant affair and caused the enemy to withdraw from the Yazoo River.
I cannot speak in too high terms of the officers and men of my command. They were in the saddle almost continually from February 1 to March 4, undergoing great fatigue and fighting a large army of infantry (for Sherman only had a brigade of cavalry with him) with a gallantry and spirit which cannot be too highly commended.
I would especially commend to the favorable notice of lieutenant-general the good conduct and soldierly qualities of Brigadier General W. H. Jackson, commanding a division, to whose assistance and action much of the credit of the recent campaign is due.
Brigadier-General Adams and Ross and Ferguson deserve my thanks for their distinguished gallantry on the field and the able management of their commands.
Colonel P. B. Starke, commanding brigade, showed skill and gallantry on every occasion, and won my confidence.
For the parts taken by different regiments and for instances of individual gallantry I refer to the inclose reports. I will, however, mention a few seeming to deserve especial notice.
On February 4, near Bolton Depot, my position was being flanked by a cavalry brigade of the enemy. Seeing the danger, and to give time to meet the attack, Major H. W. Bridges, Provisional Army, C. S., was detached with the two escort companies of General Jackson and myself, numbering about 90 men. That gallant officer with his select band attacked the vastly superior force of the enemy with a boldness and daring I have not witnessed before during the war. The advance was checked and many lives saved by the good conduct of that officer and the two companies. I regret to state that in effecting the object for which he was sent he received a mortal wound, and is now lost to his country. A more daring spirit has not fallen during this war, nor one who has been more regretted by his comrades.
Lieutenant Harvey, commanding scouts of Starke's brigade (40 in number), killed and captured 150 of the enemy, and he has established an invaluable reputation for gallantry and efficiency.
To the members of my personal staff I am indebted for their gallantry and efficiency. I would particularly mention Major William Elliott, assistant adjutant-general, and Lieuts. J. B. McFarland, S. M. Underhill, and W. S. Farish, acting aides.
Major G. B. Dyer, acting commissary of subsistence, and A. G. Quaite, quartermaster, performed their respective duties to my satisfaction. Asst. Surg. D. W. Booth, medical department, was constantly with me, and in addition to his regular duties displayed gallantry in transmitting orders under fire frequently.
The loss of the enemy was about 400 prisoners and 300 killed and wounded.
Inclosed are the reports of the general officers of my command and a list of killed and wounded.
I am, colonel, yours, respectfully,
S. D. LEE,
Lieutenant Colonel T. M. JACK,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Demopolis, Ala.