RIENZI, MISS., May 29, 1862
I have just received a dispatch from Colonel Bradfute, commanding Jacinto, saying the enemy, 2,000 strong, is advancing on Marietta, near Mobile and Ohio Railroad, and Colonel Bradfute is going down there with 400 cavalry. I have 150 cavalry here, guarding bridges and scouting. Colonel Bradfute thinks the enemy's object is to destroy the railroad bridge over Twenty Mile Creek.
S. J. MURPHY,
DEAR GENERAL: The above just received. Do you believe it true? I have just instruct Van Dorn to start at once one of his bridges for the protection of his train.
G. T. B.
For want of paper I reply on this. I do not believe it, as I heard from Roddey this morning. He is out in that direction, and reports no such movement. Still, it is well to be in time. We are moving subsistence and quartermaster's stores as fast as trains can be had. The chiefs of these departments have never been to the depot, and know not and seem to care not what goes on. I am working in the dark, but doing much. Will see you and report progress at 5 p.m.*
JACINTO, MISS., May 29, 1862
GENERAL: I was out last night watching the movements of 2,000 of the enemy's cavalry, who disappeared from the vicinity of Burnsville during last evening, but this morning my scouts report that they are moving in the direction of Marietta with tools, for the purpose of tearing up the Ohio and Mobile Railroad and to burn the bridge across Twenty Mile Creek. From the speed they are making they will get there about noon to-morrow. I shall go with my cavalry to the point to-night. At the same time I think the force I have insufficient to keep them from destroying the bridge. I hope, general, you will send assistance; it could be sent there by railroad. In the mean time a sufficient force might be sent to cut off their retreat. Should this be done, by this point will be the most available route, as it is their intention to destroy the Bear Creek Bridge on their return. I will leave a good guide to lead any force that might be sent this way. This party ought to be captured; they are, as it were, in our hands, and ought not to be let slide out.
W. R. BRADFUTE
Colonel, Commanding Forces Jacinto.
P. S. - My command 400 strong.
This is important, but the cars cannot at this moment be spared; but
*Unsigned, but in General Bragg's handwriting.