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Operations of a section of the Third Maryland battery on the Mississippi in the Spring of 1863.

By Captain W. L. Ritter.

Baltimore, Md., February 27, 1879.
Rev. John William Jones, D. D., Secretary Southern Historical Society, Richmond, Va.:
Dear Sir — I give a few items which may serve as a branch link in the great historical chain that is being forged for the future historian.

April 2, 1863, Lieutenant Ritter was ordered to Deer creek, up the Mississippi river, to take command of a section of the Third battery of Maryland artillery, commanded by Lieutenant Bates, of Waddell's Alabama artillery. This section, with one of Bledsoe's Missouri battery and one of a Louisiana battery, were under the command of Lieutenant Wood, of the Missouri artillery. These sections were all attached to General Ferguson's brigade, that had been operating along the Mississippi, firing into transports and harassing the enemy in every conceivable manner.

In March, 1863, when Porter's fleet, consisting of five gunboats and several transports, entered Black bayou for the purpose of flanking the Confederate batteries at Haynes' bluff, on the Yazoo river, Ferguson's command met the fleet below Rolling fork, and after an engagement which lasted three days, drove it into the Mississippi river, with considerable loss.

Early in April, 1863, General Steel's Federal division, consisting of eight regiments and one battery of artillery, landed at Greenville, Mississippi, and marched down Deer creek about forty miles to the Two-mile canebrake above Rolling fork, through which he made no effort to pass, in consequence of the narrow passage and the impossibility of flanking it on either side. He then returned to Greenville, destroying the gin houses, barns and dwellings for about thirty miles up the creek on his way back. Ferguson's command followed as far as Fish lake and then returned to Rolling fork, except Major Bridges' battalion.

April 29, Lieutenant Ritter, with his section, was ordered to join Major Bridges' battalion at Fish lake, near Greenville, Mississippi.

May 1st he came up with the command, and the next day proceeded to the river to fire upon the boats that were continually

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