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[336] throughout the day. The following day I was ordered towards the northern part of the State, to reinforce General Forrest. Arrived at Starkesville, but too late to be of any service there, as the enemy had already been driven back, and were now in full retreat. At Starkesville, therefore, our route was changed, and in obedience to orders from General Jackson, I returned again to Yazoo county.

Arrived at Benton, Miss., on the 28th, and was about encamping my command at the Ponds, four miles west of Benton, when a squadron of negro cavalry from Yazoo city came in sight, I immediately ordered detachments of the Sixth and Ninth regiments, which happened to be the nearest at hand, to charge them. The negroes, after the first fire, broke in wild disorder, each seeming intent upon nothing but making his escape. Being mounted on mules, however, but few of them got away. The road all the way to Yazoo city was literally strewed with their bodies.

The negro troops, after this, were very timid, and never came out to reconnoiter but that they were easily chased back by a few scouts. On the evening of the 4th of March, the West Tennessee brigade, commanded by Brigadier-General Richardson, arrived at my camps. I had been in communication with General Richardson for several days, and at my request, he had brought his command down to assist me in an attempt to drive the enemy from Yazoo city. Being the senior officer, I advised him to assume command of both brigades, but this he declined.

At 8 A. M. of the 5th, in accordance with the plans agreed upon the evening before, our combined force moved on Yazoo City, the object being to feel the enemy's position, and having determined his strength to decide then upon the policy of attempting to take the place. The Third Texas Regiment, of my command, being in advance, drove in the enemy's pickets and advanced to within two hundred yards of a strong redoubt on the Plank road, which was held by the Eleventh and 109th Illinois Regiments consolidated.

The Ninth Texas being directed to the left took position on a fortified hill to the south of this redoubt and about 500 yards distant.

In the meantime, General Richardson, with his own and two (2) regiments of my command, had borne to the right, taking a road that leaves the Plank road, one and a half miles from Yazoo City, leading into the northeast corner of the town, and had occupied another hill to the south of and six hundred (600) yards distant from the redoubt on the Plank road.

The artillery of both brigades being now in position and within easy

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