Numbers 5. Report of Colonel Bernard G. Farrar, Sixth U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery, of expedition from Natchez to the Homochitto River, Miss.
Vidalia, La., October 9, 1864.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report that in obedience to Special Orders, Numbers 80, headquarters Natchez, and to instructions from the major-general commanding District of Vicksburg, I proceeded with the command designated, on the Liberty road, in the direction of Havard's Ferry, Homochitto River, twenty- nine miles from Natchez. I started on the morning of the 5th instant at dayLight, and marched eighteen miles, when we went into camp for the night. Resumed the march the next morning at dayLight, and at 12 m. the same day reached Havard's Ferry, where we encamped. Finding that the river could not be forded at this place, I sent a detachment of 150 infantry and 25 cavalry, under Major Reynolds, with instructions to proceed three miles farther up the river to Wilson's Ferry, ascertain the depth of water at the ford, and endeavor to gain some information of the movements of the cavalry forces under Colonel Osband. The expedition left at 5 p. m. and rejoined me at 8 p. m. On the following morning I again sent a detachment of cavalry for the same purpose to Wilson's Ferry. Having received a report that a fight had occurred at Woodville, and fearing that Colonel Osband would fail to connect with my command at Havard's Ferry, I determined to move back to a position eighteen miles from Natchez, on the 7th instant. The same night (7th) I received information from Captain Sproat that a fight had occurred between Colonel Osband and the rebel forces, and that after his victory over them the colonel had fallen back toward Fort Adams, with the purpose of again advancing. I then determined to move on the following morning to Kingston. On the morning of the 8th I moved from the Liberty to the Kingston road, eight miles, sending my captured stock direct to Natchez by the former road. On my arrival at Kingston I met the forces of Colonel Osband, then en route for Natchez. The object of the expedition being thus accomplished I returned with my command and arrived at Natchez at 10. 30 p. m. the 8th. The troops conducted themselves in an orderly manner; no depredations were committed and very little straggling. On the entrance of the troops into the city, some firing took placed by men who had straggled from their commands, and eluding my advance guard reached the city and fort before me. Not a shot was fired by thy the reports of officers that he firing in the fort was done principally by the fortification guard, and from the camp on the Twenty-ninth Illinois Infantry.
On the expedition 1 of our men was slightly wounded while in advance, and 1 rebel soldier killed. We captured and brought in 20 horses and mules, 250 head of cattle, 35 head of sheep, and 10 colored recruits.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. G. FARRAR,
Colonel Sixth U. S. Colored Artillery, Commanding.
Lieutenant C. B. SMITH,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.