be of more service there than at Huntsville. I immediately left the office and removed my baggage to the hotel, intending to take the cars for Corinth the next day. A Mr. Larkum, or Larkin, took my place in the office as operator. Mr. L.'s wife had charge of the office uptown; they both I believe are Northern born, and several citizens informed me they were not sound on the Southern question.
Some four or five days previous to my quitting the office I delivered a message to Mr. Hopper from Mr. Ross, general superintendent of the road, to send all the rolling stock of the road at Huntsville to Corinth immediately. The night of the 14th (or the night before the Federals entered the town) several couriers arrived, stating the Federals, some 4,000 or 5,000 strong, were at Meridianville, some 8 miles from Huntsville, and advancing. About 11 o'clock at night I telegraphed to General Beauregard the facts, stating I considered it reliable. I gave the dispatch to the lady who has charge of the office uptown, and requested her to send it immediately. The following morning the Federal cavalry, numbering about 150, entered the town at 6 a.m. and took possession of the two telegraph officers immediately; a short time after a force of infantry entered and captured sixteen engines; in the afternoon three more regiments arrived, making their force something between 5,000 and 6,000 strong. They posted pickets on all the roads leading from town immediately on their arrival in the morning. Being dressed in citizen's dress, myself and four others made our escape the day after the Federals entered the city.
This is a statement to the best of my knowledge, as I now remember the facts.
JNumbers M. WEBB,
Monterey, Tenn., April 25, 1862.
[Major GEORGE G. GRANGER:]
MAJOR:I have learned that the enemy have about 7,000 men encamped at Childer's Hill, 2 miles in front of Hamburg, and that they were brought there by transports from Pittsburg, which indicates that Lick Creek bottom, between Pittsburg and Hamburg, is in bad condition, and it certainly was impassable before the battle of Shiloh, and must be so yet unless they have bridged the creek and causewayed the bottom.
I think their impudence on yesterday should be rebuked, and if you will give me the men I will undertake to bag the force at Hamburg and get away before they can be re-enforced.
The road from Corinth direct to Hamburg has not been cut up much with wagons, and I expect is good. Keeping a force here at Monterey and on the Purdy road sufficient to prevent the enemy from getting behind us, we must push forward to Hamburg force enough to overwhelm the forces there. If they have 7,000, we can profit by the example of fighting with odds in our favor and send 10,000 against them. We could send our men with four days' cooked rations, with but few wagons, only enough to carry off killed and wounded, and some ammunition, but I would suggest that the cavalry be made to carry ammunition in haversacks for the infantry.
If the enemy's camp is 2 miles from the river we can certainly drive them out, burn their tents and stores, pick up some arms with our cavalry,