trains (2 locomotives and 14 cars loaded with stores) and 100 officers and men on their way to Mobile. At Sparta he destroyed six more cars and the depot, with a large amount of supplies. Between Sparta and Pollard twenty prisoners were captured in skirmishes, and he reached the latter with his captures without the loss of a man. The whole command was then turned in the direction of Mobile Bay, and after much labor, in consequence of the condition of the roads, Steele reached Weatherford on the 29th and reported his position and wants. He was instructed to move directly upon Holyoke, renew his supplies, and take up the investment of Blakely.
On the 30th Veatch's division (Thirteenth Corps) was withdrawn from the line of investment (its place temporarily supplies by Marshall's brigade, of McArthur's division, Sixteenth Corps) and sent to Holyoke to convey supplies for Steele and hold that position until the junction was effected. Pressed by the condition of the roads and the want of subsistence, Steele marched on the afternoon of the 31st to Stockton, where partial supplies were obtained, and on the morning of the 1st of April continued his march, Spurling's cavalry being in advance. Before reaching the forks of the road leading to Holyoke the latter encountered a strong force of cavalry and infantry, which was immediately charged and driven, with a loss to the enemy of 1 flag and 75 prisoners. The remainder of the cavalry under Lucas and the colored division were moved up rapidly to the support of Spurling, and the enemy was forced to abandon his strong position at O. Sibley's, and was driven into his works at Blakely by the cavalry.
Early in the morning of the 2nd a strong attack was made on the positions we had gained on the previous evening, but was handsomely repulsed by the colored troops, and Andrews' division having now come up, our hold upon it was established. As Steele had already been instructed that his command was to be employed in the investment of Blakely, he considered it advisable to hold the ground that he had gained and report his position and prospects. He was directed to go on with the investment. Veatch was ordered in from Holyoke to report to him, and Garrard to support him if it should be necessary.
On the 3rd Garrard was ordered in to complete the investment on the left, and Lucas' and Johnson's cavalry brigades were charged with the duty of covering the rear of the army.
On the 4th the lower bridge on Bayou Minette was re-established, opening a direct communication between the two wings, and by the afternoon of the 5th Spanish Fort and Blakely were both included in the same general line of investment. In the meantime the works against Spanish Fort had been diligently pushed forward, although sharply contested by the enemy at all points; the trenches and parallels widened and emplacements ordered on the 3rd, prepared for the troops in preparation for an assault; siege guns and material were brought up from the rear, and batteries established in every effective position. On the 4th of April there were in position against Spanish Fort thirty-eight siege guns (including six 20-pounder rifles and sixteen mortars) and thirty-seven field guns, and against Batteries Huger and Tracy eight 30-pounder Parrott and two Whitworth guns. The fire was opened from all these at 5 and continued until 7 p. m. As the enfilading batteries were not yet ready, and the difficulties of the roads were such that the supply of ammunition could not be kept up, the fire of the batteries was reduced on the 5th, 6th, and 7th, but the other work was steadily carried on. I had anticipated that the investment