are not any troops at that place. He saw an iron-clad gunboat going up the river by that place to-day at 11 a. m. He reported to me that the enemy were very busy hauling cotton to the river at several points. Hearing of about 300 bales near the river below, I have sent out a detachment, with a member of Captain Robertson's company as guide, with instructions to burn them.
There has been much activity and stir among the Federal troops to-day. Their drums were heard for several hours by my entire infantry pickets. I heard them very distinctly myself. The scouts sent out toward Monterey report that they heard their drums in the direction of Pittsburg and Owl Creek.
Wishing to get reliable information from the enemy as to his position, strength, &c., I directed Lieutenant-Colonel Brewer to take a detachment of his cavalry and make a thorough reconnaissance as far as Adamsville, if practicable. This he proceeded to do with 35 men. When about 2 miles this side of Adamsville he met a picket guard of 37 or 38 men, who fired on him. The colonel charged them, firing on them. He wounded one of them, who he captured, together with two others. These three prisoners are here now, and will be sent in to you early to-morrow.
These men report three brigades, if not four, at Crump's Landing and extending to this side of Adamsville. One of them, a sergeant, says that there are two brigades on this side of Adamsville, and the thinks there are two others at the landing-one certainly-the whole under the command of Major-General Wallace. He thinks there are three regiments to each brigade.
I also sent out a squad of cavalry on the Shunpike road; they saw a company of 63 of the enemy's cavalry passing from the direction of Adamsville down toward Pittsburg, crossing the road near where they were secreted in the woods.
This detachment brought in with them W. C. Sanders, who has been coming into Purdy frequently since I have been here; he has been regarded as a strong Southern man. He has been to Adamsville and was returning home, having been passed through the enemy's lines but a short time before falling in with the scout sent out from this place. He reports a very large force on this side of Adamsville, and that it is understood among the soldiers there that they are on their way to this place. The same thing seems to be understood among the Union men at that place. I am not inclined to turn this man loose.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
HDQRS. SECOND ARMY CORPS, ARMY OF THE MISS., Corinth, Miss., March 31, 1862.
General JAMES R. CHALMERS,
GENERAL: Yours of this date has just been received* and laid before the general commanding, who directs me to say that the advance position at Monterey will be occupied by Colonel Gibson's brigade, and that strong guards of infantry will be posted to the right and left to prevent their flanks being turned by the enemy. Colonel Wheeler will return immediately to the rear and take his place in the line. You with