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I reached Elliott Station on the evening of the 25th, and preparing three days rations, leaving my train except my ambulances, taking only my effective men and horses, then numbering six hundred, and the rifle section of Thrall's battery, I started at noon on the 26th February to Carrollton, hoping that by moving all night, I would be able to pass between a party of negroes led by white officers, then raiding about Black Hawk, and their gunboats and transports at Sidon, and cutting them off from their boats, would be able to capture and destroy them. I marched all night, and next morning learned that these negroes had returned to their boats. I moved on to Sidon on the east bank of the Yazoo river, and finding that the enemy had gone down the river on his boats, I sent scouts to Tchula to find the locality, if in that neighborhood. My scouts reported that eleven transports and three gunboats had proceeded down the river to Vicksburg and that one transport and two gunboats were reported west of Honey Island loading with cotton. My information derived from citizens and our soldiers captured, and who had escaped, showed pretty conclusively that this armada was composed of twelve transports and five gunboats, the Eleventh Illinois infantry, one regiment of negro cavalry, and one regiment of negro infantry, variously estimated at from one to two thousand men. It also apppeared that their object was to take cotton, stock, and negroes and corn, and to hold and navigate the Yazoo river for the purpose of drawing from its rich granaries subsistence for the army at Vicksburg. Feeling that the supplies of the Yazoo valley were of great value to the country, I deemed it of vast importance to punish the enemy and drive him, if possible, from this river, that we might preserve its rich abundance of army supplies for the use of the Confederate forces, with which I believed it was designed to hold and occupy this region of country. Accordingly, so soon as I received the information that three boats were west of Honey Island, I moved to Tchula, thence towards the foot of Honey Island; but before I reached this point, my scouts returned from a thorough reconnoissance of Honey Island, reporting that all the boats had descended the river to Vicksburg.

Believing now that the enemy had returned to Vicksburg, I moved from Yazoo Bottom to rear Lexington, determined to return to Grenada by slow marches, resting my men and horses.

I received now several dispatches from Brigadier-General L. S. Ross, from the vicinity of Benton, indicating the presence of the enemy at Yazoo City. I moved in that direction, and on the evening of the 4th of March formed a junction with him at the Ponds, six miles east

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