Report of Col. Hamilton N. Eldridge, One hundred and twenty-seventh Illinois Infantry
HDQRS. 127th REGIMENT ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS INFANTRYSIR: In obedience to your request, I respectfully submit the following report of the part taken by my regiment in the late expedition to Rolling Fork:
Young’s Point, La., March 28, 1863
The regiment left camp at Young’s Point on Tuesday, the 17th instant, marched to the upper landing, embarked on the steamer David Tatum, and proceeded to Eagle Bend, Miss., the same day. The Eighty-third Indiana Regiment, Captain Myers, shared the steamer with us.
On the 18th, we lay quietly on board the steamer. We had been ordered to take but one day’s rations in haversacks, the remaining rations for five days being placed on the steamer Silver Wave, in charge of a detail of 2 non-commissioned officers and 30 privates, the Silver Wave having ascended the Yazoo River and Muddy Bayou to a point east of and about a mile from us. We would have been regularly supplied with rations but for the necessary delay in building a bridge before the troops could be crossed to the point where the Silver Wave lay. As it was, my men were without rations for one day. We were finally supplied from the steamer Fanny Bullitt.
On the 19th, we disembarked and crossed over to the junction of Steele’s and Muddy Bayous. Here we remained until the afternoon of the 21st, when we embarked on the steamer Diligent, and proceeded up Muddy and Black Bayous to the point indicated for disembarkation, and from thence marched to Reality plantation, where we found two regiments of our brigade encamped.
On the 22d (Sunday), we started at 9 a.m. marching about 12 miles up Black Bayou, following the Fifty-fourth Ohio Regiment. Heavy cannonading was heard soon after noon, which was kept up, with occasional intermissions, till we came in sight of the gunboats. When near Wright’s farm, musketry was heard from the skirmishers in the advance, and I halted my regiment and had them load their pieces. We then advanced about a mile, till we met the gunboat Louisville, where we were halted and remained till about 6 p.m. when we commenced to retreat, moving back this night as far as Wright’s farm.
On the 23d instant, we moved back to Watson’s plantation, and on the 24th we moved back nearly to the point where we disembarked from the Diligent on the night of the 21st, a mile below Reality plantation. On the 26th, we went aboard the steamer Silver Wave, in company with the Eighty-third Indiana Regiment and a battalion of the Thirteenth U.S. Infantry, and proceeded by way of Black and Muddy Bayous and the Yazoo and Mississippi Rivers to the lower landing at Young’s Point, La., where we arrived on the 27th instant, at 5 p.m.
My regiment numbered about 20 officers and 300 enlisted men for duty in this expedition.
Very respectfully, yours,
H.N. ELDRIDGE,Col. T. KILBY SMITH,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Comdg. 127th Illinois Volunteer Infantry.
Commanding Second Brigade.