War of the Rebellion: Serial 025 Page 0048 Chapter XXIX. WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS.

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Major-General HALLECK:

Brigadier General C. S. Hamilton will bivouac near Ripley to-night, because therein no water on the road for 15 miles beyond toward Salem. He can pass that dry space to-morrow, which will bring him within 13 miles of Holly Springs by to-morrow night. He could therefore reach it by Tuesday morning, if need be. With the partial information in my possession I must wait your instructions about the support to this movement, as called for yesterday morning. If anything serious is to be done at Holly Springs Hamilton must receive special instructions from me to-day, and care will be requisite to insure them supplies for ten days.




June 29, 1862.

General HAMILTON, Commanding, Ripley, Miss.:

The general commanding directs me to say that Generals Sherman and Hurlbut continue to think that the enemy is in force in front of them. General Halleck does not incline to that opinion; nevertheless, in deference to their views, Sherman has been directed to advance with Hurlbut on Holly Springs, expecting that you will be able to reach there by Wednesday morning; you will proceed accordingly. If you find the enemy reconnoitering closely, put yourself in communication with Sherman. If you can make such dispositions as will secure you, fall back slowly.

Colonel Murphy, with five regiments of infantry and a battery of artillery, will reach Ripley to-morrow night or next day morning, with a view to covering your supplies. He will be subject to your orders. If you find little resistance of no enemy at Holly Springs you will immediately return to Ripley, encamp there, and await further orders; if otherwise, you will of course be governed by circumstances. Report frequently; send efficient officers to keep up your supplies. You have been notified of the means taken to supply you with provisions; further care will be taken to expedite your supply trains. Colonel Murphy will also receive orders to the same effect.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.

CORINTH, June 29, 1862.

Major-General SHERMAN, Moscow:

It is reported that Hamilton's forces, from Rosecran's army, passed the Hatchie River yesterday, and are moving on Holly Springs, but that there is not and has not been any considerable number of rebel troops anywhere near that place, Breckinridge's whole command having gone from Okolona to Vicksburg.

You will co-operate with Hamilton so far as you may deem it advisable, but no means neglect to guard the Memphis road. The story of a large rebel force in that vicinity looks to me very much like a stampede, caused by two regiments of cavalry. The loss of the train was a matter of serious neglect, and I mean to have the matter thoroughly investigated.