Doc. 144.-operations before Vicksburgh, Miss.
Commodore Porter's report.
Tennessee troops and one regiment of Mississippians, while a brigade attempted to get into the rear of them, not knowing the force of steamers we had there. Our pickets discovered them and fell back and reported. One of the vessels opened on the bushes for a mile along, the mortars dropping shells in the bushes and over them at three hundred yards. The result was a perfect stampede on the part of the rebels. They had attempted to pass a deep marsh, and got stuck in the mud. After firing for half an hour on them, our men went in and found three men stuck fast in the mud, unable to get out. They were captured with all their arms and accoutrements. The marsh was strewn with knapsacks, cartridge-boxes, boots and shoes. Among other things, the boots of a general officer, with silver spurs. They were taken by surprise, when they expected to catch us napping. With a hundred men on shore, we would have taken many of them. The prisoners inform us that at one time the whole party got stuck in the mud, and were perfectly helpless. The rebel troops were told they were going to attack land forces, and were very indignant at the officers for leading them into such a scrape.