at Starkville, 30 miles WEST of Columbus. Cavalry is indispensable to meet these expeditions. The little that I have is on the field there, but totally inadequate. Could you not make a demonstration with a cavalry force on their rear?
Another expedition having been reported moving across the country in a southwesterly direction from Pontotoc, Brigadier-General Featherston, then commanding Fort Pemberton, on the Yazoo, was ordered to move without delay toward Duck Hill or Winona, and General Tilghman, than at Canton, was directed to hold trains in readiness to move to Winona at a moment's notice. This became more necessary, as a heavy column of infantry as well as cavalry was reported moving from Memphis with the supposed view of taking possession of Grenada. The same day the following communication was telegraphed to General Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector GENERAL:
I have so little cavalry that I am compelled to divert a portion of my infantry to meet raids in Northern Mississippi. If any troops can possibly be spared from other departments, I think they should be sent here.
Every effort was made by me to provide cavalry to arrest Grierson's raid; also to accumulate a force for operations in the direction of Warrenton and Grand Gulf, thinking it quite as probable that Grierson would return by the route on which he was advancing as that he would continue his progress southward.
On the 24th, Brigadier-General Chalmers, at Panola, was directed to move, with all his cavalry and light artillery, via Oxford, to Okolona, to intercept the force of the enemy then at Newton Station, on the Southern Railroad. Captain [Samuel] Henderson, commanding special scouts at Grenada, was also instructed to send couriers to Generals Loring, Buford, and Ruggles, notifying those officers by telegrams from the nearest telegraph office, and advising each station on the road, that the enemy had reached Newton, on the Southern road. A force was also ordered to proceed from Jackson to Forrest, or Lake Station, or to such other points as circumstances might render necessary. Major-General Gardner, at Port Hudson, was notified that the enemy had reached the Southern Railroad-that it was probable he would endeavor to form a junction with Banks at Baton Rouge-and was instructed to send all his disposable cavalry to intercept him. Brigadier-General Featherston, with his brigade, then at or en route for Winona, was ordered to move to Grenada, if there was any approach of the enemy (as was reported) from the north on that place, unless he was also threatened by an advance from the east. As it was possible that Grierson's forces might return by Jackson, such arrangements as my means allowed were made to defend the capital of the State. Brigadier-General Tilghman, then at Canton, was authorized to mount one of his regiments being at the time on duty in Jackson. Similar authority was given to General Loring, then on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, to mount what force he could on that line. In the impressment of horses, and their necessary equipments, Major L. Mims, chief quartermaster, was materially aided by His Excellency the Governor of Mississippi, who was also earnestly advised to mount by the same process a portion of the State troops in Northern Mississippi. All the cavalry I could thus collect south of the Southern Railroad was placed under the orders of Colonel R. V. Richardson until he should fall in with Colonel Wirt Adams, who was then directed to assume command and direct the movements of the whole.