War of the Rebellion: Serial 011 Page 0332 KY.,TENN.,N. MISS.,N. ALA.,AND SW. VA. Chapter XXII.

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HDQRS. SECOND GRAND DIV., ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Bethel, Tenn., March 16, 1862.

Brigadier General DANIEL RUGGLES,

Commanding Corinth, Miss.:

GENERAL: From reliable information just received I was satisfied that the enemy has landed in large force at Pittsburg, under command of General C. F. Smith. It is his intention to give us battle. I have now an officer out on a reconnaissance for the purpose of learning all he can concerning the enemy's movements. You will please inform me immediately what the effective strength of your command is, amount of ammunition, &c.; whether you have enough transportation to move against the enemy.

Troops are now arriving from Humboldt. If the result of the reconnaissance be satisfactory, I desire to march from this point with this army and unite our forces at a point between this and the enemy.

As soon as you are satisfied that no demonstration is intended against Iuka you can draw such of that force to your assistance as can be spared.

I am, general, very respectfully, &c.,

BRAXTON BRAGG.

HDQRS. SECOND GRAND DIV., ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Bethel, Tenn., March 16, 1862.

Brigadier General DANIEL RUGGLES,

Commanding at Corinth:

MY DEAR GENERAL: Your information of this morning confuses me much. From the scouts of as late an hour as yesterday evening in front of this place we are assured the enemy was not at Pittsburg in any force.

Upon information so conflicting we cannot safely predicate a military movement, though I am anxious and decided to strike a blow as soon as we can do so, consistent with any sense of security.

I sent a strong party under competent officers to make a close reconnaissance immediately and report the true state of affairs. In the mean time we can only hold everything ready to act promptly on any emergency. Should nothing occur to change my present intentions, I shall be with you to-day or to-morrow. Can your quartermaster secure me some place to cover my head, as my tents are all behind?

I am glad to hear General Johnston is joining us. With his force we certainly ought to crush any force the enemy can now bring.

Communicate to General Beauregard direct by telegraph all that occurs.

Yours, respectfully and truly,

BRAXTON BRAGG,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, March 16, 1862.

Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

Four regiments of the enemy have advanced over the mountains to Jacksborough. About 2,000 troops, under Leadbetter, sent to-day to