HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT,
Baldwyn, June 5, 1862
Major-General VAN DORN:
GENERAL: The general commanding directs that you will give standing orders to your cavalry and infantry pickets to bring in with them as they retire in front of the enemy all persons (friend or not) whose knowledge of the country might be of service to the enemy. Whenever the danger is past, they can be allowed to return to their homes.
Invite also all women and children to retire from this town and its vicinity, for a battle may take place at any moment. Hence you will hold your troops prepared at all times for that emergency, with at least two day's rations in haversacks and proper quota of ammunition.
As we may wish to take suddenly the offensive, it is prudent not to destroy the bridges immediately in our front. Should we retire, however, they must be destroyed.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEORGE WM. BRENT.
P. S.- During an engagement commanders of corps must leave a courier in position whenever they move from one place to another to indicate where they may be found.
GEORGE W. BRENT
Acting Chief of Staff.
AT RICHARD SMITH'S HOUSE,
AT INTERSECTION OF RIENZI AND BLACKLAND,
AND TURN OFF TO BOONEVILLE, EIGHT MILES FROM RIENZI,
DEAR GENERAL: You map, being very incorrect, has completely misled you. There were but two, instead of three, roads to Carrollville; one via Booneville, the other via this place by the way of Blackland. Our wagons are probably now at Blackland. I go there immediately. The hour being so late, I will not be able to return to Rienzi; therefore I will leave one of my men with Mr. Smith, who will inform you and act as your guide from here to Carrollville,if you desire. The road being full of wagons, I will stop ours as soon possible and keep a lookout for you on the road, sending one man back to Mr. Smith's to inform you of my whereabouts, if I should not come myself. All the men you sent this morning to Booneville know the way by both roads to this place.
I send you a small sketch, given my by Mr. Smith; it may be of some service to you. Hardee's wagons halted at this place. They will take a road that branches off from Blackland road 1 mile from here and comes into it again 4 miles this side of Carrollville, which is 12 miles from here.
A. R. CHISOLM,