War of the Rebellion: Serial 025 Page 0404 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

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pickets of one regiment will be relieved to-night by Colonel M. M. Bane. The regiment left will picket the rest of the brigade front.

Colonel Mersy will report at these headquarters this evening for instructions.

By order of Brigadier General G. M. Didge:

GEO. E. SPENCER,

Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CORINTH,

Corinth, Miss., December 12, 1862.

Colonel August MERSY,

Commanding Second Brigade:

You will, in command of two regiments of infantry in wagons, one section of artillery, and cavalry, south, if practicable, as far as Tupelo. You will leave Corinth at daylight to-morrow (Saturday) morning; reach Saltilo at daylight Monday morning. A force of cavalry from Spring Dale, on Grand Junction and Grenada Railroad, will leave that place at same time you leave here, and cross the railroad some point near Tupelo. Your movement is made to cooperate with them. on your return you will strike east of Mobile and railroad and wipe out any straggling bands of the enemy you may find coming to corinth by way of Jacinto. You will keep me advised of all your movements by couriers, and take extra care that no unauthorized depredations are committed by the troops. All good stock mules and horses, belonging to rebels in arms, found fit for service will be taken and brought here. Any cotton found belonging to rebels in arms will also be taken on the return, and all the teams when near Corinth will be loaded with forage.

These instructions are given as the general outline, but full discretion is given the commanding officer to vary from them so far as march and attack are concerned should circumstances require it.

Great care must be taken in keeping the destination of the forces secret, and that it is not in any way surprised; and every endeavor will be taken to ascertain the force of the enemy at Saltillo to see that it has not been re-enforced.

By order of Brigadier General G. M. Dodge:

GEO. E. SPENCER,

Captain, Assistant Adjutant-General.

OXFORD, MISS., December 12, 1862.

Admiral PORTER, Cairo, Ill.:

A large force of rebel cavalry is moving west from Columbia, Tenn., toward Savannah, Tenn. Can a light-draught gunboat get up there at this time?

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

CAIRO, ILL., December 12, 1862.

General GRANT:

Two gunboats are working their way up Tennessee River, but cannot get higher than Cuba Ford. One is ashore.

DAVID D. PORTER,

Acting Rear-Admiral.