and commanding officers of companies have behaved with much coolness and judgment in every engagement. To the commanding general of the brigade and his staff officers, Captain Massie and Lieutenants Curtis and Kinne, I am under many obligations for their uniform kindness and courtesy.
I have the honor to remain, captain, your obedient servant,
S. G. VAN ANDA,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
Captain M. D. MASSIE,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS TWENTY-FIRST IOWA INFANTRY,
Spring Hill, Ala., April 20, 1865.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the operations of my regiment from March 17 to April 12 , 1865:
On the morning of March 17 we crossed Mobile Bay from Dauphin Island on the transport N. G. Brown; landed at Navy Cove; marched one mile and a half up the peninsula and encamped. We remained in camp on the 18th, and at 6.30 a. m. of the 19th commenced the march toward Blakely. We found the roads dry, but marching heavy on account of the sand. At noon we waded an arm of the bay, having an average depth of about thirty inches, and encamped at 4 p.m., having marched fifteen miles. At 6 a.m. of the 20th we resumed the march, and moved rapidly about five miles, but returned upon our route four miles and took the road followed by the Third Division. At this point the country became of a very difficult character for transportation and artillery, being exceedingly wet and marshy. The division preceding us had here commenced laying corduroy roads at intervals, which, however, already needed a great deal of repairing. We encamped at 3.30 p.m., and immediately sent out heavy fatigue parties to repair the roads previously laid and continue them through the swamps. During the night and morning of the 21st there was heavy rain and we remained in camp, our fatigue men in considerable numbers being engaged on the roads. On the 22nd we marched slowly from 7 a.m. until noon, the land being of the same wet character.
Our fatigue men were frequently called upon along the route to make roads which were otherwise impassable for train and artillery. During the day we made about six miles. On the 23rd we were engaged in the same labors, and found more than ordinary difficulty in moving, having marched only one mile, but carried our corduroy to the farther verge of the swamp. On the 24th we broke camp at 5.30 a.m. and moved easily across the low land to the more elevated country bordering on Fish River. Here we found good dry roads and made rapid progress. We were detained one hour by a dash made upon the train by a small force of mounted men under Lieutenant Sibley, of the rebel army, in which one of my men was captured. I detached one company to assist in guarding and moving the train. We crossed Fish River on pontoons about dark, and encamped one mile and a half beyond it at 9 p.m. On the 25th at 11 a.m., we continued our march toward Blakely without interruption six miles, and encamped near the point of divergence of the various roads leading to the Tensas River. On the 26th we commenced our march on the center road, and about 10 o'clock (my regiment being in the advance and two companies deployed as skirmishers) we fell in with the enemy's pickets. We moved rapidly