It was then 4 p.m. and night came on before the place could be assaulted with troops in proper style or with well-regulated lines, so we determined to draw off, and are now at our old camps (the Ponds.) At one time we had their supplies, cotton, and 30 or more wounded in our possession. General R. burned the cotton, and we have a good many prisoners and much plunder now. The commissary stores could not be burned. The fighting was very desperate. The hardest and hottest part of the engagement was made by the Fourteenth Tennessee, under Major Thurmand, in driving the enemy and the gun-boats from town. Major T. was killed. Lieutenant Garvin, Sixth Texas; Lieutenant Harwell, Third Texas, were wounded.
Our loss in killed and wounded will not exceed 50. Several of the battery were wounded; none killed. I will make a report to-morrow of loss and gain.
The troops are much encouraged by the result of the day's operations. General R. will remain with me to-morrow. I will move back as you direct to Benton and establish courier-line, &c., to Canton. Cannot you come over and see me soon? Can get up some sport for you now any day.
Very respectfully, &c.,
L. S. ROSS,
Brigadier General W. H. JACKSON,
Commanding Division Cavalry, Canton, Miss.
HDQRS. TEXAS Brigadier, JACKSON'S CAVALRY DIVISION,
Benton, Miss., March 7, 1864
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that in consultation with Brigadier-General Richardson, of Forrest's division, who, with his brigade (550 strong with one section of artillery), arrived at my camp, near Benton, Miss., the evening of the 4th instant, it was decided to make a reconnaissance in force of the enemy at Yazoo City, and having learned his numbers and the strength of his position, to determine then upon the policy of attempting to take the place.
With this view we moved at 8 o'clock on the morning of the 5th instant. General Richardson, not being familiar with the nature of the country immediately around Yazoo City, declined the command of both brigades, whereupon it was agreed that we should co-operate during the day.
At about 9 a.m. my advance drove in the enemy's pickets, and before 11 o'clock we were in possession of all the hills sand positions east of the city, which were held by the enemy at the commencement of operations, except a very strong redoubt on the plank (or main Benton) road. This redoubt, immediately in my front, was occupied by the Eleventh and One hundred and ninth Illinois Regiments of infantry (consolidated), and as the enemy seemed disposed to a stubborn resistance, I decided to drive him, if possible, with artillery. Lieutenant Johnston's section was therefore placed in position and commenced a brisk fire at about 700 yards' range.
In the mean time General Richardson-operating on the right along a road that leads from the plank road, 1 1/2 miles east of Yazoo City, into the northeast corner of the town-had posted his artillery