War of the Rebellion: Serial 025 Page 0058 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

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advance of the place. Two deserters from Breckinridge left him Tuesday. His forces were at Tallahatchie, but had left for Vicksburg on Wednesday morning. Price's and Van Dorn's commands were at same place. The impression there was they were maneuvering to get back into Arkansas. I give this as my opinion also, and I think they will try to get their artillery down the Yazoo. If they are at Tallahatchie it can only be to watch for an advance down the railroad from Grand Junction, not to make an attack on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. They cannot cross the Tallahatchie in a hurry, coming or going. The little water there is at Ripley will be dried up in a week; wells are scarce. The town could not accommodate more than a brigade. There is no shade for bivouacking within 4 miles. The crossing of the valley of the Tallahatchie is a swamp 1 mile long and might be made very difficult. It is my best route back. The direct road from Corinth to Ripley is not practicable. The Hatchie Bridge is destroyed and the bottom very bad.

I shall send a regiment of Murphy's brigade to guard the Hatchie Crossing and watch Nolin's. The other four regiments go to the best position near Ripley to support Hamilton, who has orders to move on Holly Springs, and if he finds the enemy in force to communicate with Sherman and fight them. If pressed by a superior force, to fall slowly back, command Colonel Murphy, and be governed by circumstances. If no enemy be found requiring his detention he will return to Ripley and report for orders from there.



CORINTH, June 30, 1862.



Grand Junction must be held by Hurlbut's or your forces. The detachment of Wallace or McClernand there must be sent north.



LA GRANGE, TENN., June 30, 1862.


Moscow, Tenn.:

The troops at Grand Junction have no transportation. I shall have to leave them there. It is reported that Breckinridge is moving west toward Memphis.



MOSCOW, June [30?], 1862.

General HURLBUT,

La Grange, Tenn.:

I will move at 2 p.m., and expect to communicate with you at Lamar and effect a junction at or near Hundsonville. The scarcity of water may force us to Coldwater as soon as possible. I think the afternoon will be cool and fine for the march. Be careful not to encumber yourself with anything but provisions, ammunition, and essentials. From Lamar you could detach a small mounted party to Salem and beyond to hear of Hamilton, whose division is in advance.

Don't think Breckinridge would move on Memphis with its uncertainties, with a heavy force on his flank and another approaching. I doubt if he will remain at Holly Springs, and think he will fall behind the Tallahatchie.

Have you heard whether cars have reached Holly Springs or not? I have nothing from there.