On the 27th Garrard's division (Sixteenth Corps) was established in an intrenched camp to cover the right and rear of the army. Smith, with the others, McArthur's and Carr's divisions of his corps, was turned to the left to close in upon the enemy's entrenchments. Granger's corps was advanced, Veatch's and Benton's divisions moving directly forward, and Bertram's brigade swinging around to the left and completing the close investments of Spanish Fort by land. In this order Carr's division occupied the extreme right, his right flank resting on Bay Minette, below the bridge, succeeded in order by McArthur's division, of the Sixteenth Corps, Benton't and Veatch's divisions and Bertram's brigade, of the Thirteenth Corps - this last with its left flank resting on the impracticable marsh that bordered D'Olive's Creek. These movements were sharply contested by the rebels at every point, and the number of casualties was considerable, particularly in the Sixteenth Corps, the right of which was exposed to an enfilading fire from the rebel gun-boats and from Batteries Huger and Tracy. On moving from Dannelly's Mills, the temporary depot at that place was broken up, and the supplies and material, except the bridge over Fish River (left for the use of the cavalry that was to come up by land, and guarded by a gun-boat and an infantry battalion), and transferred to the supply vessels. The engineer trains and material were ordered up from Mobile Point, and the whole, under convoy of the navy, were awaiting the completion of the investment for the establishments of a new depot. This was established at Starke's Landing, five miles below Spanish Fort. Wharves were built, roads opened, and the supply of the army secured. As a part of the Sixteenth Corps (the part of its land transportation and the general supply trains) were yet to come up, the corps commanders were instructed to push their works forward as rapidly as was consistent with due care for their men, to take advantage of every opportunity that promised successful and decisive results, but not to attempt an assault without that assurance.
The details of the 28th and 29th are without special interest except the establishment of a battery of eight 30-pounder Parrotts and two Whitworth guns on the bluff of Bay Minette to counteract the effect of the enfilading fire from the rebel gun-boats and batteries.
This was opened with effect on the morning of the 30th, driving off the gun-boats and so far reducing the fire of the batteries (Huger and Tracy) that it gave us no further serious annoyance. Steele, in accordance with his instructions, had moved from Pensacola Bay on the 19th with his infantry and the main body of his cavalry, having previously sent a part of this force by Blackwater Bay to Creigler's Mills and thence by land to strike the Mobile and Montgomery Railroad above the junction at Pollard. The same storms that had impeded the operations of the forces on Mobile Bay delayed the march of Steele's command, but on the 25th the cavalry under Lucas drove the enemy from his entrenchments at Cotton Creek, and later in the day encountered the force of General Clanton in line of battle at Bluff Springs. It was immediately charged, routed, and dispersed with a loss to the enemy of many killed and wounded, 120 prisoners (1 general and 18 other commissioned officers), and 1 flag. Our loss was 2 killed and 4 wounded.
On the morning of the 25th General Andrews was sent to Pollard to cover Spurling's operations. That officer reached Pollard in the afternoon of the same day, having completely accomplished his mission. He cut the telegraph and railroad between Evergreen and Greenville before daylight on the morning of the 24th, capturing the up and down