HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY FORCES
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY FORCES,
Vicksburg, Miss., September 26, 1864.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that in pursuance of orders from district headquarters I moved the Third U.S. Colored Cavalry, 330 men, Maj. J. B. Cook commanding, at daylight on the 21st instant, to Haynes' Bluff, at which place they crossed the Yazoo River by the steamer White Cloud, marching twelve miles and encamping on the Hill place.
On the 22d Major Cook attacked the commands of Bradford and Montgomery, about 150 strong, near Rolling Fork, and succeeded in driving them. He pursued them fifteen miles, when they crossed Sunflower River. He encamped at their camp on the Helen Johnson place. At 3 a.m. on the 23d instant he burned all the tenements, outhouses, stabling, gin-houses, &c., upon the premises, as ordered by district headquarters, destroying a large amount of ammunition, arms, and subsistence stores, hidden on the place. About midday of the 23d he met Captain Sutton, commissary of subsistence, C. S. Army, with twelve men, driving 300 head of cattle branded C. S., purchased for the use of the Confederate army. He killed 8 of the escort, and succeeded in taking the captain and 4 men prisoners. Owing to the dense canebrake he was enabled to reach Egg Point with only about 200 of the cattle, which were turned over to Lieutenant-Colonel Sturdevant, chief commissary of subsistence, at this place, as ordered. He also captured 18 horses, 19 mules, as appears by inclosed memorandum receipts, marked A.(*) On the 24th the Third U.S. Colored Cavalry met the Fifth Illinois Cavalry at William F. Smith's place, and with them proceeded to Vicksburg by steamer. The detachment of the Fifth Illinois Cavalry, 350 men, commanded by Maj. H. P. Mumford, accompanied by me, proceeded on the night of the 21st by steamer B. J. Adams and barge to Bolivar Landing, reaching that place on the morning of the 23d at 9 a.m. Disembarking immediately, the command moved in the direction of Deer Creek, met no force of the enemy, but learned that a battery of artillery, supported by infantry and cavalry, was stationed at a point a few miles above, with intentions to fire upon transports. Proceeding through the country, capturing 13 mules and 9 horses, as per memorandum receipts marked B,(*) they succeeded in taking 3 of the enemy's most important scouts. Met the. Third U.S. Colored Cavalry on the 24th at the Smith place. Returning to the river, which the command reached on the 26th, I immediately embarked, and reached this place at 4 p.m. 26th.
The result of the expedition may be summed up as follows: No losses upon our part. We have positive information of a loss of 15 killed on the rebel side, and I captain and 8 men taken prisoners. A list of their names is appended, marked C. (+) We captured 27 horses, 32 mules, and about 200 cattle, as per memorandum receipts A and B.
I found the inhabitants anxious for peace and willing to accept it under Federal rule. The State authorities are organizing the exempts under the militia law of the State, the Bolivar County militia having already served the term of thirty days. The Washington County militia was to be organized on the 24th had my forces not been in the neighborhood. The Issaquena County had not yet been ordered out, but will probably be as soon as the Washington County militia have served their term of thirty days.
Large amounts of corn have been raised by the planters on the entire route of the expedition, and also a large quantity of cotton, the number of bales raised varying from 30 to 200 per plantation.
The Yazoo Swamps, under which term this part of the State of Mississippi is known, cannot be held except by at least 500 cavalry, and would respectfully recommend that no supplies be landed to any one on the east side of the Mississippi, below Yazoo Pass, because they either give voluntarily, or have taken from them by force, at least one-half of all such supplies landed.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. D. OSBAND,
Colonel, Commanding Cavalry Forces.
Lieut. Col. H. C. RODGERS,