A. Smith, who was the first to reach the fleet:
headquarters first Brigade, Second division, Fifteenth Army Corps, young's Point, Louisiana, March 28, 1863. Captain L. M. Dayton, Assistant Adjutant-General.
Captain: I have the honor to report the movements of the First Brigade in the expedition up Steele's Bayou, Black Bayou, and Deer Creek.
The Sixth Missouri and One Hundred and Sixteenth Illinois regiments embarked at the mouth of Muddy Bayou on the evening of Thursday, the 18th of March, and proceeded up Steele's Bayou to the mouth of Black; thence up Black Bayou to Hill's plantation, at its junction with Deer Creek, where we arrived on Friday at four o'clock P. M., and joined the Eighth Missouri, Lieutenant-Colonel Coleman commanding, which had arrived at that point two days before.
General Sherman had also established his headquarters there, having preceded the Eighth Missouri in a tug, with no other escort than two or three of his staff, reconnoitring all the differ
Military Division of the Mississippi, embracing the Departments of the Ohio, Cumberland, Tennessee, and Arkansas. General Grant was of course very busy in winding up all matters of business, in transferring his command to me, and in preparing for what was manifest would be the great and closing campaign of our civil war. Mrs. Grant and some of their children were with him, and occupied a large house in Nashville, which was used as an office, dwelling, and every thing combined.
On the 18th of March I had issued orders assuming command of the Military Division of the Mississippi, and was seated in the office, when the general came in and said they were about to present him a sword, inviting me to come and see the ceremony.
I went back into what was the dining-room of the house; on the table lay a rose-wood box, containing a sword, sash, spurs, etc., and round about the table were grouped Mrs. Grant, Nelly, and one or two of the boys.
I was introduced to a large, corpulent gentlema