MEMPHIS, March 9, 1863.
The order to abandon the road is from General Grant. He is now drawing heavily on this corps. I cannot send you another battery. The cavalry (Third Illinois) will be sent you. Retain companies of the Third U. S. Cavalry until further orders. What do you mean by Van Dorn's new success?
S. A. HURLBUT,
COLUMBUS, KY., March 9, 1863.
I received the following telegram this morning:
Some 7,000 rebels in the vicinity of the mouth of Duck River, under command of Pillow, of infantry, and Wheeler, of cavalry. They have five ferry-boats run down from Duck River, and three more a few miles above the mouth of it, hid in the woods. The country is overflowed 2 miles from the river; no crossing.
The above is reliable, the informant being employed by myself in secret service, and directed to report only positive facts. I communicate names to the commander of the navy at Cairo, requesting him to send gunboats up the river to destroy the ferry-boats and prevent their crossing. If taken in the rear, the rebels are lost.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CENTRAL KENTUCKY,
Lexington, Ky., March 9, 1863.
Major General HORATIO G. WRIGHT,
Commanding Department of the Ohio, Cincinnati, Ohio:
SIR: Inclosed send you some statements of two of my scouts, just in from Tennessee.
Lieutenant J. R. Edwards left Williamsburg Friday, the 6th day of March, 1863. His mother, who was at Williamsburg, left Knoxville, Tenn., on the 28th day of February, and Ross, Anderson County, Tennessee, on the 3rd day of March. She says Pegram is at Beaver Creek, 10 miles northwest of Knoxville, with from 10,000 to 12,000 cavalry and one ([W. C.] Kain's) battery of artillery, 6-pounder cast-iron guns; that their intention was to come into Kentucky two weeks ago, by way of Jamestown, Fentress County, Tennessee, but were stopped by flood in Clinch River and its branch, Bull Run. Pegram's force is composed of Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, and North Carolina Troops. This information is corroborated by reports that Lieutenant Edwards got from other sources. He also reports that two week ago bragg withdrew about 12,000 of his men from Tullahoma and vicinity to Chattanooga, as a feint against Kentucky, upon the presumption that troops would be largely detached from Rosecrans' army to meet it, and this force was at Chattanooga on the 28th ultimo. The sources from which this information is derived are more than ordinarily reliable. Lieutenant Edwards also reports only about 150 men at Big Creek Gap and about 80 men near Williamsburg. There is cavalry along the railroad, from Cleveland up to Strawberry Plains, at Athens, Sweetwater, Loudon, and Knoxville, probably 800 in the aggregate. There are two small steamers plying on Clinch River, from Kingston to Clinton.