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[318] Jackson during the night,1 hurrying across Pearl river, and burning the bridges behind him; retreating through Brandon to Morton. Sherman did not pursue in force beyond Brandon; but, having thoroughly broken up the railroads for miles in every direction, and destroyed every thing in Jackson that could be useful to the enemy, fell back by Clinton across the Big Black.2 Johnston reports his loss in Jackson at 71 killed, 504 wounded, and about 25 missing; but adds “Desertions during the siege and on the march [retreat] were, I regret to say, frequent.”

Having perfected the occupation and insured the retention of Vicksburg, Gen. Grant embarked3 an expedition, under Gen. F. J. Herron, to move down the river to the aid of Gen. Banks in the siege of Port Hudson; but our men were scarcely on board when tidings of Gardner's surrender caused the order to be countermanded, and Herron directed to proceed instead up the Yazoo. This involved a debarkation and reembarkation on vessels of lighter draft; which being promptly effected, Herron set forth on his new errand ;4his transports preceded by the iron-clad De Kalb and two “ tin-clad” [lightly and partially shielded] gunboats, under Captain Walker.

The object of this expedition was the capture of a large fleet of steamboats, which had been run up this river for safety and use, and which had escaped Porter's expedition by running far up one of the branches of the Yazoo — a feat now incapable of repetition, by reason of the general drouth and consequent shallowness of those streams. The 29th North Carolina, Col. Chrisman, with a battery, holding Yazoo City, decamped on the approach of our boats; but the De Kalb was sunk by a torpedo when nearly opposite the city; while the coveted steamboats made off, and but one of them was captured. Herron's cavalry being sent after the fugitives, however, they were all--22 in number — burnt or sunk, either at this time or when Walker was sent back by Corn. Porter to bring away the guns, &c., of the De Kalb; so that the Yazoo was thenceforth clear of Rebel vessels. Herron captured and brought away 300 prisoners, 6 heavy guns, 250 small arms, 800 horses, and 2,000 bales of Confederate cotton. He moved5 across, by order, from Yazoo City to Benton and Canton, in support of Sherman's advance to Jackson; but countermarched immediately,6 on information of Johnston's flight from Jackson, and, reembarking, returned7 to Vicksburg.

While the siege of Vicksburg was in progress, Gen. Grant, compelled to present a bold front at once to Pemberton and to Johnston, had necessarily drawn to himself nearly all the forces in his department, stripping his forts on the river above him so far as was consistent with their safety. Milliken's Bend had thus been left in charge of Brig.-Gen. E. S. Dennis, with barely 1,0618 effective, whereof the 23d Iowa,

1 July 25.

2 July 10-11.

3 July 10-11.

4 July 12.

5 July 16-17.

6 July 18-19.

7 July 21.

8 So Gen. Dennis reports. Mr. G. G. Edwards, who was present, reports our numbers as follows: 23d Iowa, 160; 9th La., 500; 11th La. about 600; 1st Miss., 150: total, 1,410.

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