War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0389 Chapter XLIV. THE MERIDIAN EXPEDITION.

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kins, over to the left to guard another road upon which the enemy were making some demonstrations. However, I knew the men in whom I trusted and was not doubtful of the issue.

The Sixth and Ninth Regiments Texas Cavalry, commanded by Colonel Wharton and Lieutenant-Colonel Berry, nobly sustained their well-earned reputation for gallantry and unflinching firmness.

The enemy charged and were driven back; rallied, charged the second time, and were again repulsed with six-shooters at 25 paces' distance, and this time so signally and effectually that they could not be checked again until they were safe on board their boats.

Their killed and wounded, with many arms that were thrown away in their flight, were all left in our possession and were collected up after the fight.

The enemy made no further effort to dislodge us, but late in the evening about-faced and moved off down the river. I did not conclude that they had given up the expedition entirely, and was not surprised when at daylight the next morning their boats again appeared in sight. I had, however, exhausted almost all my artillery ammunition and determined to husband the remainder for an emergency. No resistance to the boats passing was therefore attempted, but as the transports went by, with troops and horses entirely exposed, the Ninth Texas Cavalry lined the banks and poured into them several volleyes, which must have done much execution.

As soon as they were passed I moved my command direct to Yazoo City, determined to intercept them again at that place and prevent their landing, or expend my last shot in the effort.

Arrived at Yazoo City on the evening of the 4th. The enemy did not appear until about 8 a.m. the following day, when three gun-boats turned the bend of the river 3 miles below town. My position had already been chosen and artillery posted. The bank of the river was lined with my sharpshooters, concealed by the rough and broken surface of the ground. When the advance boat (which proved to be the Numbers 38.) had arrived to within a few yards of the landing one of my rifled pieces opened fire, at short range, almost every shot taking effect and some of them passing entirely through the boat into the water beyond. The enemy promptly returned our shots, but in a few moments the Numbers 38 was disabled and began with great difficulty to drop back down the river. The other boats, halting beyond range of our guns, shelled us for an hour or two and then drew off to their transports, 4 miles below the city. I now made dispositions of my forces for resisting a land attack, suspecting the enemy of an intention to again send out his infantry. Indeed, several regiments had already landed and deployed in line, but showed no desire to come within range of our muskets. Evidently intimidated by the rough handling they received the day before at Liverpool, the whole force re-embarked late in the evening and moved off down the river, closely followed by my scouts, and was reported passing Satartia at 10 o'clock next morning.

I now deemed it prudent to remain in the vicinity of Benton until I could obtain reliable information in regard to the movements of Sherman's forces and of our own cavalry. I had received no dispatches for several days, and the reports that reached me were so uncertain and contradictory that I could not credit them.

Your dispatch directing me to rejoin the rest of the division east of Pearl River reached me at the Ponds, 4 miles west of Benton,