Brigade, commanded by Colonel Hall, having the advance of the division, one regiment of this brigade (the Fifteenth Illinois Volunteers, Colonel George C. Rogers commanding) were deployed as skirmishers, and the rest of the brigade advanced in line of battle. They slowly drove the enemy during the day, making a march of about 10 miles. At 4 p. m. one regiment of General Gresham's brigade (the Twelfth Wisconsin, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel J. K. Proudfit) was sent to the support of the Second Brigade. The loss of this day's skirmish was as follows: Twelfth Wisconsin, 3 killed and 4 wounded.
Starting from our camp on the morning of the 5th, we marched to Meridian without encountering an enemy or hearing an authorized shot, arriving at that point on the 15th day of February, 1864.
The next day, pursuant to orders from you, we started at 6 a. m. for Enterprise, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, arriving there at 4 p. m. same day. At that point I detached General Gresham with his brigade to destroy the railroad bridge in the vicinity of Quitman, across the Chickasawha, and the bridge and trestle-work across Alligator Swamp, this side of Quitman.
The expedition started at daylight the morning of the 17th and returned the next morning at 9 o'clock, having been entirely successful.
On the 19th day of February, at 6 a. m., the division returned to Meridian and Hillsborough road, and encamped 4 miles west of Meridian, from which camp we marched without interruption to and across Pearl River, at Ratliff's Ferry, and encamped on the 26th day of February at Terry's plantation, 12 miles east of Canton.
On the 27th of February, I sent one regiment from General Smith's brigade (the Thirty-third Wisconsin, Colonel J. B. Moore commanding) to Madisonville, with orders to destroy the bridge and saw-mill at that point, which duty was accomplished, and the regiment rejoined the command at Canton on the 28th of February. From Canton to our present position at Hebron's plantation, 10 miles east of Vicksburg, we marched with but slight interruption, arriving in camp at 1.30 p. m. on the 4th day of March. The division was on the expedition thirty-one days. The First and Second Brigades marched 350 miles; the Third Brigade marched 390 miles. The number of miles of railroad destroyed is as follows: Two miles, near Meridian, of the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad, by General Smith's brigade; 10 miles of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, at Enterprise, by the First and Second Brigades, and 2 miles, at Quitman, by the Third Brigade. Three railroad bridges were destroyed, one over the Chickasawha, near Quitman, 210 feet long; one over the Oktibbeha, about 75 feet long, and one on the Alligator Swamp. One and a half miles of trestle-work on Alligator Swamp from 11 to 32 feet high and 1,700 feet at Quitman from 10 to 30 feet high were destroyed. In the First Brigade no men were killed or wounded and 28 are missing. In the Second Brigade 1 officer and 4 men wounded and 16 missing. In the Third Brigade 4 men killed and 8 wounded. The railroad buildings at Enterprise and Quitman were destroyed entirely.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. M. CROCKER,
Lieutenant Colonel W. T. CLARK,