the scouts in front that a large foraging party was moving upon the Ridge road from Vicksburg, Colonel Mabry attempted to intercept it, but the enemy receiving notice of his presence in the neighborhood saved himself by flight.
On the morning of the 28th, my scouts reported gun-boats and transports coming up the Yazoo River. Two boats were already at Satartia, and the smoke of others was plainly visible below. Hoping to surprise the two advance boats, I moved rapidly from Mechanicsburg to Satartia, leaving one regiment at the former place to guard against the advance of any land force from that direction. The movement was entirely successful and ere the enemy were aware of our presence Lieutenant Moore had his pieces in position and opened fire upon them at 900 yards' distance. One of the boats (a transport) was landed at Dr. Gale's place, on the opposite side of the river, one-fourth of a mile above Satartia, had debarked its troops, and was loading with forage. The gun-boat had halted in the middle of the river, being along, doubtless, merely for the protection of the transports. Our attack was sudden and unexpected-so much so that before the transport could loose herself from the shore and get off she received some twenty shots, many of them passing entirely through her hulk, but without damage to her machinery so far as we could discover. So hurried was her departure that the men on shore had not time to get aboard, and were left to save themselves as best they could. The gun-boat ran off without firing a shot, and both boats being out of reach, I directed some shells to be thrown at a squadron of cavalry which having been picketing up the river while the boats were loading and hearing our artillery, were now endeavoring to get back. Attempting to run by within range of our guns, a few shells exploded in their midst unhorsed several and scattered the rest in all directions. The men who were unhorsed were afterward captured by some of my skirmishers (who crossed the river in a dug-out for this purpose), and proved to be negro troops.
Being convinced that the enemy would again advance very soon en route for Yazoo City, I examined the river-banks and selected Liverpool as the most suitable place at which to fight them. At this point the banks are high and the hills extend down to within musket-range of the river, which would enable me to use small-arms and artillery at the same time. The bed of the river is also partially obstructed opposite Liverpool by a sunken steam-boat, to pass which would require the enemy to move very slow and carefully.
On February 2 their boats again appeared (this time eleven in number) with formidable-looking gun-boats (Nos. 3,5, and 38) in advance. They were evidently anticipating resistance at Liverpool, and therefore passed the entire day in reconnoitering, but kept beyond range of our guns, occasionally throwing shells at our scouts and skirmishers. No effort to pass us was made, nor did any boat get within reach of our artillery until the morning of the 3rd. Three gun-boats then moved up to within range. A heavy cannonading at once began and continued without intermission for hours.
In the mean time three regiments of infantry, having landed from the transports below, were advancing with the intention of attempting to dislodge us with small-arms. I had but two regiments with me at the time, having dispatched Colonel Mabry with his regiment (Third Texas) to check a force of the enemy advancing from Mechanicsburg, and sent the First Texas Legion, under Colonel Haw-