vast advantage it has ben to the new recruits of the command, of which we have a large proportion, increasing their morale and giving them a prestige that cannot be overestimated to troops first brought under fire. All of which is attributable to the command officers of brigades, and in fact throughout the whole command my thanks are due to all, as well as to my staff, for alacrity and spirit displayed in the execution of every order, "Excelsior" seeming to be the motto of every portion of the command.
I desire, before closing my report, to all attention to Brigadier- General Ellet, commanding Marine Brigade, for his kindness and assistance in doing everything he could to make the expedition successful.
Accompanying my report I send you a sketch* of the entire route of the expedition, which was made by Mr. Fiedler, engineer, who was employed especially for the purpose of making a military map of this part of the country.
I have the honor to be, your most obedient servant,
Lieutenant Colonel H. C. RODGERS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, District of Vicksburg.
No. 2. Report of Colonel Benjamin Dornblaser, Forty-sixth Illinois Infantry, commanding brigade.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, YAZOO EXPEDITION, Vicksburg, Miss., May 22, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this brigade in the Yazoo expedition:
At 5 a. m. of the 4th instant the First Brigade, consisting of the Forty-sixth Illinois Infantry, Lieutenant Colonel John J. Jones commanding, and the Seventy-sixth Illinois Infantry, Colonel Samuel T. Busey commanding, left camp and proceeded via Jackson road to Hebron, Mechanicsburg, and Belton, which we reached on the 7th. The enemy disposed to dispute our possession of the place. The First Brigade, marching in the rear, was ordered up, leaving two companies with the train, and formed by your order in a field east of the town and in the rear of the One hundred and twenty-fourth Illinois Infantry, of the Second Brigade. The enemy, however, soon fled before our advance, and left our troops in quiet possession of the place.
On the morning of the 8th General McArthur went to Yazoo City to communicate with General Slocum at Vicksburg, leaving me in command during his absence. At about 2 p. m. of the 9th a scout reported the enemy advancing in large force on the Lexington road. I at once formed my brigade and Bolton's battery on that road, and requested Colonel Coates, of the Second Brigade, to form it on the Canton road, which was promptly done. Major Mumford, with his Fifth Illinois Cavalry, dismounted, passed around my left, deployed as skirmishers, and drove the enemy across to the old Lexington road, from which a few well-directed shots from Bolton's battery drove them pell-mell into the