War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0007 Chapter LI. EXPEDITION TO YAZOO CITY, MISS.

Search Civil War Official Records

command of an expedition, consisting of the Forty-sixth and Seventy-sixth Infantry, Colonel Dornblaser commanding; the Eleventh, Seventy-second, and One hundred and twenty-fourth Illinois Infantry, Colonel Coates commanding; Company L, Second Illinois Light Artillery, and the Seventh Ohio Battery, Captain Bolton, chief of artillery, commanding; First Kansas Mounted infantry, detachments of the Fifth and Eleventh Illinois Cavalry, and THIRD U. S. Cavalry, African descent, Colonel Osband, THIRD U. S. Cavalry, African descent, commanding, and proceeded in the direction of Messinger's Ford, thence northwest through Oak Ridge and Mechanicsburg, visiting Scott's Ferry, at Big Black, destroying the same, intercepting the wagon train of two regiments that had crossed to this side to re-enforce the forces that were immediately on my front. I then started in the direction of Benton, having constant skirmishing, the cavalry, however, pushing the enemy sufficiently rapid that no delay was experienced until we reached Benton, where they made a stand, resisting the efforts of my cavalry to dislodge them until the arrival of the infantry, when, after a short and spirited skirmish, they retreated, closely followed for six miles north of Benton. Seeing pursuit in that direction fruitless, I then returned to Benton. From information received from intercepted dispatches from General Adams, together with intelligence gained from other sources, I found that the enemy were concentrating all their available forces on my front, and had already succeeded in crossing two more regiments, and that General Adams had arrived and assumed command, thereby accomplishing the principal object of the expedition. I abandoned the idea (as communicated to you by way of Yazoo City), of crossing the Big Black and moving on Canton, and contended myself with destroying the ferry at Moore's Bluff and directing General Ellet, of the MISSISSIPPI Marine Brigade, to remain at Yazoo City, wither I sent my wagon train and sick and wounded, and awaited at Benton the completion of the "concerted measures" (see General Adams' dispatches)* to drive us from the Yazoo. After waiting two days, and seeing no serious designs in carrying out their intention, I moved toward Vaughan's Station, on the MISSISSIPPI Central Railroad, the enemy contesting every advantageous position until we reached Luce's plantation, where they endeavored to test our strength, but were soon driven from their position, my cavalry and artillery behaving handsomely and fighting keenly. Meeting with no more serious opposition we destroyed the railroad station at Vaughan's, following the road to Big Black, destroying the trestle- work in such a manner as will render it useless for some time to come, returning to Yazoo City, and thence by the valley road to Vicksburg, where we arrived on the morning of the 21st instant.

Our loss in killed during the entire expedition was 2 commissioned officers, 1 non-commissioned officer, and 2 privates; in wounded, 14 privates (see surgeon's report accompanying this for names),+ comparatively light with that of the enemy, who were severely punished wherever they attempted to stand.

Results: A wholesome fear on the part of the enemy, from painful experience, that we have sufficient force at this point to move into the interior when desired - the effect of which, will, in my opinion, be the withdrawal of their forces WEST of the MISSISSIPPI Central Railroad, if not of Pearl River; also compelling them to concentrate on my front at that time instead of sending them north as they might have done; the destruction of the railroad communication with Canton; the


*Not found.

+Nominal list omitted.