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[158] number of horses, mules and wagons. The enemy were scattered in parties of thirty and forty, foraging and pillaging through the country. I therefore adopted the plan of detaching regiments to operate against them. This succeeded admirably, Colonel Peirson with his regiment (First Mississippi) being very successful — captured a number of the enemy, killed and wounded many, and brought off nine wagons and teams. The officers and men of Croft and King's batteries deserve great praise for their promptness in the execution of orders and gallant behavior in presence of the enemy.

The enemy remained about Canton three days, my command skirmishing with them daily, killing and capturing many, striking principally at their foraging parties, my object being to confine the enemy, as far as possible, to their lines, and prevent, in a great measure, their destruction of the country. In this I was successful. On the 28th, having previously assumed command of Ferguson's division, consisting of his own brigade, commanded by Colonel Earle, and Adams's brigade, I made the following disposition of the command, viz:

Adams's brigade on left flank of enemy, Starke's on right and Ferguson's in rear. In this manner they pursued the enemy to within a short distance of Big Black, capturing fifteen wagons and teams and one hundred and fifty prisoners, killed and wounded numbers, also captured fifty cavalry horses and equipments, notwithstanding the enemy was aware of our presence, and moved in fine order, without straggling. The effect was to confine them closely to the road on which they were moving.

I beg leave to call the attention of Major-General Lee to the part performed by Lieutenant Harvey and his gallant band of forty scouts; he was everywhere doing good service, killed and captured of the enemy four times his own number. His daring coolness and judgment eminently fit him for promotion and much larger command. I commend him to the notice of the Major-General commanding.

The loss in my division during the campaign was two hundred and twenty-five killed, wounded and missing; that of the enemy, about four hundred prisoners, with as many killed, with a large number of mules, horses, wagons, arms and equipments captured.

I am informed by my staff officers, just returned from Vicksburg on a flag of truce, that Federal officers admit a loss of three thousand missing. The number of their killed will never be known, as a great many were killed while out from the main body, plundering and burning houses.

Troops never behaved more gallantly or soldierly than those of my

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J. D. Ferguson (2)
Meridian Adams (2)
P. B. Starke (1)
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S. D. Lee (1)
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