sickness in my camp. I have now got them off, as well as the heavy baggage.
On yesterday I was notified by General Beauregard as follows:
Act as already instructed, if transportation be at hand. I will send a strong force to your support. Have ordered Major Hurt to send you an engine if practicable.
Later in the day I was notified by Major Hurt as follows:
Troop trains en route for Bethel.
Two trains passed up last nigh with a large number of empty cars. The officers of the front train said they had been ordered to bring up two regiments, but the regiments having to draw and cook rations for five days, they were ordered to move on to Humboldt with the trains, but that the troops would be sent up this morning. None have arrived, and if the policy has been changed, I desire to be informed. There are, as shown by last morning's report, aggregate for duty, 1,524. From this must be deducted extra-duty men and attendants sent with sick to Lauderdale. This includes Brewer's cavalry.
What the real motive of the enemy for appearing in force, as reported by Lieutenant-Colonel Brewer, I have as yet been unable to divine. I had thrown timber (such as it is) in and about the road upon which he traveled, but it was a small matter, and necessarily must be so, as timber is small and woods open. The enemy has opened a way through.
I went to and beyond Purdy on yesterday (Saturday) and found everything quiet. The enemy camped on his return the night before at Stantonville.
I call your attention to statement of Lieutenant-Colonel Brewer, that one of his men, a New York, was taken prisoner, and, to his conviction, that it was really a desertion. This man, Colonel Brewer informs me, is very intelligent. If he turns traitor, he can very well give them all the information about this command they want.
I am compelled to keep a large number out on picket duty. I find the country troublesome to picket, as there are innumerable by ways and paths leading in every direction, and a man like Hurst, who is piloting the Federals about, or any of his gang, can take a body almost anywhere unobserved if they once learn the points picketed. I will do the best I can, but the amount of labor is wearing upon all of us, and in my opinion has added to the sick list.
If this post is worth protecting and of holding for the protection of the railroad and for purpose of observation, it ought to be well guarded. There is nothing like such a force here now as before the battles.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. B. MAXEY,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE WEST,
No. 67. Memphis, Tenn., April 27, 1862.
I. Immediately on arrival at this place the troops of Hebert's and Rust's brigades will prepare to move on to Corinth. They will at once encamp near Fort Pickering, draw their rations for ten days, and prepare cooked rations for five days. They will draw such ammunition and other supplies from the ordnance and quartermaster's departments as they may require, and apply to the chief quartermaster for transportation,