General Hurlbut's entire division to move to Brownsville by land. The cavalry, eight companies of Fifth Ohio, about 300 effective men, are already advanced to the vicinity of Raleigh, and the remainder of the division will camp there to-night. To-morrow they move to Shelby Station and operate so as to threaten Somerville, and any force that may be near Bolivar or the south of Hatchie. He will then see that he can cross the Hatchie by some bridge or ford on the road toward Brownsville, when he will rapidly cross the Hatchie, take post at Brownsville, and put himself in communication with Jackson and Bolivar.
The Fifty-second Indiana, now operations on the river with Colonel Bissell, will be landed on Monday next at Fort Pillow and reach back to communicate with General Hurlbut, at or near the crossing of Hatchie, and should it be, as I apprehend is the case, that the Jackson and Columbus Railroad is broken, the force in that quarter may be temporarily used from Pillow.
As near as I can learn from a gentleman in whom I confide, General Armstrong, of Price's army, came across to Holly Springs from Tupelo with three regiments of cavalry and two battalions of same. There he was joined by Jackson's and Pinson's regiments, about 1,200 more, making some 3,000 or 4,000 mounted men. This is the force that appeared at Bolivar, it is supposed, for the purpose of breaking up the railroad that supplies you. I fear they will succeed.
Villepigue still remained at Abbeville Depot, 18 miles below Holly Springs, with four regiments of infantry, rather weak, and eight pieces of field artillery. The men talked about a forward movement on Tuesday last, but the only sign of such a movement was that their quartermaster was baying artillery horses at Holly Springs. This gentleman saw the dress-parade last Sunday and counted only 1,200 men.
As soon as I heard cavalry was moving from Coldwater I sent Veatch's brigade toward Holly Springs as a feint, and am satisfied it caused the infantry and artillery to remain; otherwise it would have been at Bolivar. Night before last I dispatched 200 select cavalry of the Sixth Illinois to cross Coldwater on a road between the Holly Springs and Hernando road. They are still out. I learn that about 12 miles out they caught 12 prisoners, whom Colonel Grierson sent in by Lieutenant [N. B.] Cunningham, of Company G, Sixth Illinois, and 12 men. About 10 miles out this party was fired on by a party in ambush, by which Lieutenant Cunningham was killed; the party dispersed. Three men are still missing, though it is probable they turned back and joined Colonel Grierson, who had gone on. Five of the prisoners were brought in. As soon as I heard of it I dispatched all my remaining cavalry out to punish the murderers. The body of Lieutenant Cunningham has been brought in dreadfully mangled. I hear the murderers were, as I suspected, citizens, and that the rightful parties have been punished. As soon as my party of cavalry returns I will call for a written report to send you.
Colonel Lagow goes to-day to Columbus and Corinth, and will deliver this and tell all news.
W. T. SHERMAN,
HDQRS. OF THE ARMY, ADJT. General 'S OFFICE,
Washington, September 6, 1862.
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I. Brigadier General Thomas J. McKean, U. S. Volunteers, is herebey re-