War of the Rebellion: Serial 010 Page 0011 Chapter XXII. EXPEDITION TOWARD PURDY, TENN.

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the duties of yesterday I did not get started until 12 o'clock m. On arriving at the creek I found that the enemy had deserted his camp in that neighborhood, but in consequence of the swollen condition of the creek and the natrue of the banks I deemed it inexpedient to cross. I learned from a citizen of the neighborhood that the enemy had fallen back on Purdy and Bethel; that he supposed them to be from 5,000 to 8,000 strong, consisting of Louisiana and Alabama infantry, with some few companies of Tennessee cavalry, and the citizen from whom I obtained my information was positive that this force is well armed, principally with Sharp's and Enfield rifles.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

CHAS S. HAYES,

Major, Comdg. Third Battalion Fifth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry.

Captain FRED. KNEFLER,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

No. 4. Reports of Major-General Braxton Bragg, C. S. Army.

BETHEL STATION, March 14, 1862-11.30 p.m.

COLONEL: After much delay, mostly unnecessary, from inefficient railroad management, I have just reached here. General Gladden is at Purdy, with his two regiments and a battery and a small force of cavalry. A report from him to General Ruggles has just been read by me [No. 5]. It seems the enemy's force landed in this vicinity has been greatly exaggerated, the general estimating it, from the most reliable information he can procure from the people of the country, at about 5,000. They advanced to within 5 miles of Purdy, and hastily retired last night to their boats, the road from here to Purdy being almost impracticable, and from there to the river nearly in the same condition from the rains yesterday and to-day. No large force can be passed over them now. Under these circumstances (a change of plan onthe part of the enemy) I have sent to General Ruggles to suspend his movements, he being still at Corinth, and to send General Chalmers back to Iuka, which is the most assailable point on the road. I would also advise a suspension of the movement of General Polk's command, stopping at Jackson such portion as may reach there. We can only await further movements and act accordingly. The damaged bridge is repaired, and strong guards will be stationed at all dangerous points.

I shall remain here for the present, and have the country examined thoroughly whilst the organization of my force is carried on; as far at least as can be done under the circumstances around me.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BRAXTON BRAGG,

Major-General,&c.

Colonel THOMAS JORDAN,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Jackson, Tenn.

HDQRS. SECOND GRAND DIV. ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

Bethel, Tenn., March 15, 1862-11 a.m.

COLONEL: Dispatches for General Ruggles from General Gladden, now at Purdy, have just reached here. They represent the enemy to