The infantry scouts sent out by Colonel Hildebrand found the enemy's cavalry mounted and watching the road to Iuka, about 2 miles back of Eastport. The distance from Iuka is only 8 miles, and Iuka is the nearest point and the best road by which the Charleston and Memphis Road can be reached.
I could obtain no certain information as to the strength of the enemy at Iuka, but am satisfied that it would have been folly to have attempted it with my command, our object being to dislodge the enemy from the batteries recently erected near Eastport, and these being attained, I have returned, and report the river clear to and beyond Chickasaw.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
Captain JOHN A. RAWLINS,
Assistant Adjutant-General to General Grant.
APRIL 3, 1862.-Reconnaissance from Savannah, Tenn., to Eastport, Miss., and Chickasaw, Ala.
LIST OF REPORTS.
No. 1.-Major-General U. S. Grant, U. S. Army.
No. 2.-Colonel J. D. Webster, U. S. Army.
No. 1. Report of Major-General U. S. Grant, U. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WEST TENNESSEE,
Savannah, Tenn., April 3, 1862.
CAPTAIN: Inclosed herewith I send you report of Colonel Webster, chief of staff who accompanied the gunboats up the river, with the view of determining the practicability of destroying the railroad east of Corinth without special danger of bringing on an engagement.
There will be no great difficulty in going any place with the army now concentrated here, but a battle will necessarily ensue at any point on the railroad touched.
A dispatch from the telegraph operator is just in. He states that General Nelson has arrived in sight. The advance will arrive probably on Saturday. The dispatch received does not state the number of miles out the telegraph wire is laid.
Nothing is learned from Corinth very reliable. Deserters occasionally come in, but all that can be learned from them that is reliable is that the force there is large and increasing. They do not describe the feeling of the men as at all hopeful; on the contrary, say tat many would desert if they could.
I have been engaged for the last two days reviewing the troops of this command. I find the men in excellent condition, and as a general thing well clothed. Some, however, are still in the gray uniform, and owing to the bad quality of clothing on hand are reluctant to draw other to replace that on hand.
I have already twenty-one batteries here, with looks to me quite