War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0481 Chapter XXIX. MISSISSIPPI CENTRAL RAILROAD.

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GRANT'S HEADQUARTERS, January 6, 1863.

To obtain supplies of forage I am gradually falling back to lines of Memphis and Corinth. Will leave Holly Springs about 10th. One division goes to Corinth. Supplies coming over Memphis and Charleston Railroad; but so many cars being shut up at Columbus forage and days, yet I seize all mills in country and issue corn-meal to great extent. Contraband question becoming a serious one. What will I do with surplus negroes? I authorized an Ohio philanthropist a few days ago to take all that were at Columbus to his State at Government expense. Would like to dispose of more same way.

U. S. GRANT.

Major-General.

Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief.

Numbers 2.

Report of Brigadier General Mason Brayman, U. S. Army, of operations November 3-December 31, including action near Jackson, Tenn., December 19, and skirmish at Middleburg, December 24.

HEADQUARTERS POST OF BOLIVAR,

Bolivar, Tenn., December 31, 1862.

SIR: For the official information of Brigadier General J. C. Sullivan, commanding District of Jackson, I respectfully report as follows:

On November 3 the undersigned was by order of Major-General McPherson placed in command of this post, including the line of railroad between Toone's Station, 7 miles north, and Grand Junction 19, miles south of this point, as well as the country adjacent. On the same day the Thirteenth Army Corps moved south, leaving at this post the Seventeenth, Forty-third, and Sixty-first Regiments Illinois and the Twelfth Michigan Infantry, then comprising the Third Brigade of the Third Division; also the Fifteenth Ohio Battery, the Fifth Ohio Cavalry the First West Tennessee Cavalry, and fragmentary detachments of commands ordered forward.

The exigencies of the service have produced frequent changes in the forces at this post,leaving them at the present time much reduced in effective strength.

On assuming command I found at this post Colonel Fielding Hurst's First Regiment West Tennessee Cavalry, having upward of 600 men, but not armed or equipped nor yet mustered into service. The first battalion and two companies of the second have since been mustered, and at this time a sufficient number of men await opportunity for muster to complete the second and I presume half of the third.

I regret to report that after constant and persistent efforts I have not been able to obtain arms and equipments for but a portion of these men, although an abundant supply has during a greater portion of the time been on hand, but beyond the reach of all efforts to obtain them.

The fortifications at this post are strong and well arranged for defense; a small force is competent to the defense of the post. The bridge across the Hatchie (a most important work) remains uninjured, though a favorite object of attack. The railroad and buildings within my command remain intact. I am gratified in reporting no injury, ex-

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