erals Ruggles and Chalmers, commanding, respectively, the First and
FIFTH Military Districts, which embraced all the northern portion of the State of Mississippi, and both were notified of the expected raids. Two companies of cavalry of Waul's Legion alone were ordered to report to Brigadier-General Barton at Warrenton. One of these marauding expeditions, under Colonel [Brigadier-General] Grierson, which crossed the Tallahatchee River at New Albany, succeeded in passing directly through the State, and eventually joined General Banks' forces at Baton Rouge, La. So great was the consternation created by this raid that it was impossible to obtain any reliable information of the enemy's movements, rumor placing him in various places at the same time.
On the 20th, I addressed the following telegram to General Johnston;
Can you not make a heavy demonstration with cavalry on the Tallahatchee toward Abbeville, if only for 50 miles? The enemy are endeavoring to compel a diversion of my troops to Northern Mississippi.
The same day the following communication was addressed to General Johnston, in response to one from him, asking if I could not send re-enforcements to the assistance of Colonel [P. D.] Roddey:
I have not sufficient force to give any efficient assistance to Colonel Roddey. The enemy are advancing from Memphis via Herndon, from Grand Junction and LA Grange via Holly Springs and Salem, and from Corinth via New Albany. You are aware that I have but a feeble cavalry force, but I shall certainly give you all the aid I can. I have literally no cavalry from Grand Gulf to Yazoo City, while the enemy is threatening to pass the river between Vicksburg and Grand Gulf, having now twelve vessels below the former place. A gunboat and one transport passed Austin on the 18th, having in tow FIFTEEN flat-boats, or pontoons, with twenty-five skiffs on them. Another transport passed Austin of the 19th, towing sixteen flats, or pontoons.
Brigadier-General Ruggles was directed to send all his available cavalry, both Confederate and State, at once toward Corinth, as a diversion in favor of Colonel Roddey; General Johnston having informed me that a superior force of the enemy from Corinth was in front of Roddey at Tuscumbia, and desiring me, if possible, to send aid to the latter. Having no available cavalry to meet the raid of Grierson, which was ravaging the northern portion of the State, I endeavored to employ a portion of Buford's brigade (infantry), then returning to the department, and directed the commanding officer of the first regiment, on his arrival at Meridian, to remain until further orders, to protect the most important points on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, and there by succeeded in saving the valuable property, machinery, &c., at Enterprise, upon which town the enemy advanced and demanded its surrender, but Major-General Loring having reached there with a sufficient force of infantry in time, their object was frustrated. The enemy had previously succeeded in destroying several miles of the track of the Southern Railroad WEST of Chunkey River, which for more than a week greatly delayed the transportation of troops, and entirely prevented that of supplies (except by wagons) from our depots on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad.
To meet these raids as far as possible, Major-General Loring was place in command of all the troops then on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. He was directed not to leave the line of the road for any great distance, to keep in telegraphic communication with me, and constantly to advise me of his position, and that, operations upon that line being minor in importance to those upon the Mississippi River, his troops must be so disposed as to enable him to move them in that direction at a moment's notice. The same day the following communication was addressed to General Johnston at Tullahoma:
Heavy raids are making from Tennessee deep into this State One is reported now