the base of supplies from Mobile to Pensacola Bay, and using the railroad from Pensacola to Montgomery for that purpose. In carrying out the first part of this plan the main army, moving by land and water, was to establish itself on firm ground on the east side of Mobile Bay. Steele, with a sufficient force to meet any opposition that could be sent against him, was to move from Pensacola, threatening Montgomery and Selma, and covering the operations of the cavalry in disabling the railroads. This accomplished, he was to turn to the left and join the main force on Mobile Bay in season for the operations against Spanish Fort and Blakely. Minor operations for the purpose of distracting the enemy's attention were to be undertaken at the same time from Memphis, Vicksburg, Baton Rouge, and the west side of Mobile Bay, and it was expected that Wilson's raid would give full employment to Forrest's rebel cavalry.
On the 17th the general movement commenced. Bertram's brigade (Second Division, Thirteenth Army Corps), closely followed by the other divisions of that corps, under General Granger, moved by land, the route turning Bon Secours Bay, crossing the East Branch of Fish River as low down as practicable, and striking the North Branch at Dannelly's Mills. The --- Brigade of the --- Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, was landed at Cedar Point, on the west side of Mobile Bay, with instructions to occupy Mon Louis Island with as much display of force as possible.
On the 18th as much of the Sixteenth Corps, under Smith, as could be provided with transportation was sent by water, through Bon Secours Bay and Fish River, to Dannelly's Mills, the point of concentration, to hold that point. In the movements by water the army transports were convoyed by the navy, and the lighter vessels of the squadron were used as transports. On the 18th the naval demonstrations were extended up the bay to the neighborhood of Spanish Fort. The favorable weather that attended the commencement of these movements was followed by a terrible storm of wind and rain that made the transportation by land and water so difficult and tedious that it was not until the evening of the 24th that the army was concentrated and its supplies renewed.
On the morning of the 25th the Sixteenth Corps, followed by the Thirteenth Corps, except Bertram's brigade, moved by the direct road from Dannelly's Mills to Deer Park, a distance of eight miles, and halted for the night. Bertram's brigade moved at the same time by the Montrose road and halted at Rock Creek, on the left of the Sixteenth Corps.
On the 26th Sixteenth Corps moved upon the same road to the South Branch of Bayou Minette, halting at Cyrus Sibley's Mills, and threatening both Spanish Fort and Blakely. Granger, with Veatch's and Benton's divisions, of the Thirteenth Corps, moved directly for Spanish Fort, crossing the two branches of D'Olive's Creek, and establishing himself on the southeast front of Spanish Fort, and communicating by pickets with the leftt of the Sixteenth Corps. Bertram moved up the bay road and halted at the lower crossing of D'Olive's Creek. In these movements no serious opposition was encountered. The rebel force, under General Liddell, was posted to resist the advance, but, being disconcerted by the flanking movements of the Sixteenth Corps, fell back into Blakely and Spanish Fort and destroyed the lower bridge on Bayou Minette, cutting off their own communication between the two places except by water.