will be careful to select a strong position for your command, and throw up such earthworks as may be necessary to enable you to make a vigorous defense against any assault until the troops from this place can be advanced to your support. The cavalry is posted if rot of you as follows: At Blackland one battalion, with a strong picket at Baldwyn; one battalion at Booneville, with a strong picket at the lower crossing of Twenty Mile Creek, and one cavalry regiment at Jacinto. I send you a sketch* of the country, exhibiting the position of the forces. The commanding officers are instructed to keep you informed of all matters of importance which may become know to them. You will keep me advised fully and frequently of all matters pertaining to your command, and transmit any important news from the cavalry advance by telegraph. I have directed a telegraph operator to report to you, and open an office at Rienzi. Although there is little to be apprehended from a flying and demoralized enemy, I nevertheless enjoin upon you the utmost vigilance. You will keep your command well in hand, and adopt every precaution usual in the face of an enemy.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
[JUNE 12, 1862.-For Halleck to Stanton, in reference to Beauregard's movements and operations in Arkansas, West Tennessee, North Mississippi, and against Vicksburg, see Series I, Vol. XVI, Part II, p. 14.]
HEADQUARTERS RESERVES, Camp Bethel, June 12, 1862.
Brigadier General J. A. LOGAN, Commanding First Division:
GENERAL: It is reported that some 500 rebel cavalry are marching on Decaturville for the purpose of burning the cotton at that place. The gunboat Robb has been ordered down to prevent it. Although doubting the accuracy of the report as to the existence and movement of such a body of cavalry, yet in order to render compliance with instructions from general headquarters and to meet such a contingency you will immediately cause a detachment of cavalry, supported by infantry and artillery, to move from Jackson in the direction of Decaturville under instructions to cut off the retreat of the enemy and capture him. As distance, character of road, and the importance of rapid movements will make cavalry the most efficient arm of force in the execution of this enterprise you are at liberty to increase the cavalry now at Jackson by transferring a portion of that here to it.
If either you or the officer in immediate command at Jackson should have information showing the inutility an needlessness of sending infantry and artillery, or either, with the cavalry you are at liberty to dispense with both or either of these arms. If you should capture incendiaries of the class described you will immediately order a military commission to try them and promptly execute the sentence of the court, even if it be the extreme penalty of death.
Whatever force may form the expedition will return upon executing its object, or upon proving the report upon which it is founded to be untrue.
JOHN A. McCLERNAND,