War of the Rebellion: Serial 011 Page 0378 KY.,TENN.,N. MISS.,N. ALA.,AND SW. VA. Chapter XXII.

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Abstract from return of the Second Grand Division, Army of the Mississippi, Major General Braxton Bragg commanding, March 31, 1862.

Present for duty.

Troops. Officers. Men. Effective


Ruggles' division. 473 7,199 7,043

Withers' division. 479 7,394 7,825

Cavalry brigade. 49 621 610

Artillery (seven 28 661 552


Total. 1,029 15,875 16,030


Troops. Aggregate Aggregate Pieces of

present. present and artillery.


Ruggles' division. 9,536 10,985


Withers' division. 10,409 12,367


Cavalry brigade. 822 1,395


Artillery (seven 799 902 28


Total. 21,566 25,649 28

CORINTH, April 1, 1862.

Colonel B. H. HELM, Commanding at Tuscumbia:

Our pickets at mouth of Yellow Creek report three gunboats and three transports with troops passed up at 10 a. m. Be sure that the bridge does not fall into the hands of the enemy. Guard it with vigilance, and obey your orders of March 18, 1862, as follows:

Burn the Florence Bridge as soon as the enemy's gunboats may pass Eastport or the enemy approach Florence from north side of river. Place scouts, &c.


General, C. S. Army.


Major General LEONIDAS POLK,

Commanding First Corps, &c., Corinth, Miss.:

GENERAL: Can you inform me if General Cheatham has made a reconnaissance of the roads from Purdy toward the Tennessee River, especially the one leading to Pittsburg? If not, will you please order him to have it made as soon as practicable and as close to the enemy's position as safety to the reconnoitering officers and escort will permit. It would be well not to awaken the enemy's suspicious to any intention on our part of advancing in that direction; in other words, a secret reconnaissance on the road to Pittsburg would be preferable to any other kind.

I have ordered one of my staff officers to go this morning to Trenton to inquire into the surprise of Colonel Pickett's command and the loss of property resulting therefrom. We must make an example of those officers who permit their commands to be thus surprised. Prompt and decisive action is necessary to stop further disasters of that kind.

My staff officer had reported a line of couriers from Bethel to this place; but not, as ordered, with a relay every 5 miles. He informs me that the road he traveled upon on the west side of the railroad is a good one, and could with very little labor be made practicable at all times. Captain Waddell could give you further information on the subject if desired.

I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


General, Second in Command.