The Federals were to have made a grand attack on the 16th, but a few well-placed cannon shots put the Chillicothe
out of action.
A day or two later, Colonel Wilson
, the Federal
engineer in charge, reported that ‘His Excellency Acting Rear-Admiral Commodore Smith
left to-day for a more salubrious climate, very sick, giving it as his opinion that the present force of gunboats could not take the two rebel guns in front.’
But before the expedition had returned to the Mississippi
it was reinforced by General Quinby
with part of his division, and the entire force came back to renew the attack on Fort Pemberton
, which was meanwhile reinforced by Gen. D. H. Maury
's brigade and six guns.
This second attempt resulted in nothing but a bombardment of the fort during three days, and on the night of April 4th the Federals
In meeting the first attack Col. D. R. Russell
, Lieut.-Col. W. N. Brown
, and Capt. H. Cantey
of the Twentieth, were mentioned for skillful service.
Col. A. E. Reynolds
and Major Liddell
did enterprising duty during the second attack.
About the middle of March Admiral Porter
, supported by Sherman
's army corps, attempted to open up a passage by way of Steele
's bayou, Black
's bayou, Deer creek
, Rolling Fork
and Sunflower river
, into the Yazoo
Col. S. W. Ferguson
, with 250 sharpshooters, and a battery under Lieut. R. L. Wood
, first met the expedition at the mouth of Rolling Fork
, on Deer creek
, and engaged the gunboats on the 20th.
He was soon reinforced by General Featherston
's brigade, and Major Bridges
took command of the sharpshooters.
The fighting continued on the 21st with small loss to the Confederates
, and then Porter
withdrew and abandoned the expedition.
At the same time Gen. S. D. Lee
was active in the work of fortifying lower Deer creek
, and prepared to strike the enemy in the rear if opportunity offered.
Thus the attempts to reach Vicksburg
from the north