HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
Cincinatti, Ohio, October 27, 1862-1.45 p. m.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief:
Governor Yates has been requested, under your instructions, to send all the available troops in Illinois immediately to Columbus, Ky., and General Grant notified accordingly, and that if not needed they are to proceed to Helena. It is not yet known whether Tennessee troops can be spared by General Cox.
H. G. WRIGHT,
JACKSON, October 27, 1862.
The following dispatch has just been received from McPherson:
BOLIVAR, [October] 27, 1862.
Major-General HURLBUT, Jackson:
The reconnoitering party under Colonel Leggett returned safely. The infantry went 2 1/2 miles south of Van Buren. At this point the cavalry was divided into three detachments; one went to Saulsbury, one to Grand Junction, capturing a picket of 4 men a short distance this side of the Junction and driving the balance out of the town, and the third went through New Castle and within 4 miles of La Grage. The reconnaissance developed the fact that there is no enemy except cavalry this side of Davis' Mill. About 400 cavalry are reported to have gone on to Estanaula, whether for the purpose of crossing the Hatchie and interfering with the railroad or not I have not yet ascertained.
JAS. B. McPHERSON,
JNO. A. RAWLINS,
Bolivar, Tenn., October 27, 1862.
Major-General HURLBUT, Jackson, Tenn.:
GENERAL: I have been considering the matter of the disposition of our forces, and respectfully present the following views:
First. Since the battle of Corinth the line of operations on the part of the rebels has changed, and they have practically abandoned the Mobile and Ohio road north of Columbus, if, as was told just before I left Corinth, the enemy had burned a part of their stores at Tupelo. He is now concentrating on the Mississippi Central, in vicinity of Holly Springs. Hence the necessity of a large cavalry force at Corinth has been to a great extent removed and transferred to this section. We have here to scour the country from Somerville to Pocahontas with a force of less than 700 men, many of them badly armed and with poor horses. The cavalry, besides furnishing the patrols for scouring the country, has to furnish escorts for forage trains, advance pickets, orderlies, &c., so that it is with difficulty that I can muster 400 men for any important expedition.
Again, in view of the position which the enemy at present occupies, Pocahontas is an important point, commanding one of the principal crossings of the Hatchie and the roads leading from Ripley, Salem, &c., to other points on the railroad. A force there would also be enabled to guard Davis' Bridge, across the Hatchie, which can be destroyed at