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[298] and assumed command on his retreat. Quinby now returned to the ground just abandoned before the defenses; but had scarcely done so when he received1 an order from Grant to withdraw the expedition; which he forthwith obeyed, returning to the Mississippi unmolested.

Admiral Porter, having reconnoitered the country directly eastward of the Mississippi from Steele's bayou, just above Milliken's Bend, and listened to the testimony of friendly negroes, informed2 Gen. Grant that a devious route, practicable at that stage of water for lighter iron-clads, might be found or opened thence into the Sunflower, and so into the Yazoo below Yazoo City, but above Haines's Bluff; whereupon, Grant decided to attempt it. Ascending3 with Porter, in the ram Price, pioneered by several other iron-clads, through Steele's bayou to Black Fork or bayou, which makes across from Steele's into Deer creek, Grant, finding their way constantly impeded by overhanging tress, hurried back to Young's Point for a pioneer corps; but was soon advised by Porter that there was more serious work ahead; when Sherman was sent with a division; most of which was debarked at Eagle Bend, on the Mississippi, and thence marched across to the bayou (Steele's), here but a mile from the river — much of the distance being now under water, and requiring to be bridged or cordu-royed before it could be passed. And such was the height of the water in the bayous and streams that our boats could with difficulty be forced through the branches of the trees which thickly overlaced those narrow water-courses; so that they were severally scraped clean of everything above their decks when they had been wearily driven and warped up the bayou and across. Little Black Fork into Deer creek, up that stream to Rolling Frok, and across into the Sunflower; down which they floated almost to the Yazoo; where their progress was finally arrested, and vessels and men obliged to <*> their toilsome, devious way to the Mississippi.

Col. C. R. Ellet, commanding the ram Queen of the West, having the gunboat De Soto and a <*> in company, ran4 the Vicksburg batteries without injury, and thence steamed down to the mouth of Red river, thence raiding5 down the Atchafalaya to Si<*>sport; thence returning to the Red, and going up that river to a point 15 moles above the mouth of the Black, where he captured the steamboat Era, with 4,500 bushels of corn; thence ascending the Black and Washita to Gordon's Landing, where his treacherous pilot, Garvey, ran the Queen ashore, just as she was opened on from the bank by a Rebel battery, which soon shot away her lever and escape-pipe, then cut in two her steam-pipe, filling her with scalding steam, and compelling Ellet and his crew to abandon her — she being wholly disabled and impotent — escaping on cotton-bales, and reaching the De Soto, which was just below. Going down the river, the De Soto was run into the bank and lost her rudder; when she and her barge were scuttled and burnt; Ellet and his crew taking refuge on the Era, throwing overboard her corn. Continuing

1 March 23.

2 March 14.

3 March 15.

4 Feb. 10.

5 Feb. 12.

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