the 24th. At 6 p. m. a dispatch was received from Major [W. A.] Hewlett, then Aberdeen, that 1,500 of the enemy's forces were between Okolona and Aberdeen, threatening an immediate attack upon the latter place.
Colonel [J. W.] Rogers, with the NINTH Arkansas Infantry, was sent to Prairie Station, 8 miles from Aberdeen, with instructions to make a forced march that night for its relief. This report, though so positively given, was without foundation, producing, however, much disquietude for a time, as did the report received, at 8 p. m. on the 25th, from Lieutenant J. P. Shaw, at Macon, that, from ---
reliable source, Bankston Factory was burned by a large force of Federal that morning, said to be 20,000 infantry and 6,000 cavalry, making their way to Southern road, via Louisville and Kosciusko.
And which on investigation proved equally false.
The retreat of the enemy from Palo Alto, the pursuit and attack upon him at Birmingham, with other matters of interest, is so clearly stated in the report of Lieutenant-Colonel [C. R.] Barteau, herewith sent, * that I specially commend it to your attention. Instructed by the lieutenant-general that it would be inexcusable to allow the enemy to escape this way from the Southern Railroad, scouting parties were sent in that direction, and orders given, on the 25th, stationing all my mounded troops so as to intercept return this way, my command was ordered to positions guarding the country against enemy on the north, at which they had not arrived when another raid of the enemy approached from the direction of New Albany.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding District.
Major R. W. MEMMINGER,
Number 5. Reports of Brigadier General James R. Chalmers, C. S. Army, commanding FIFTH District. COLDWATER BRIDGE, April 18, 1863-8 p. m.
Enemy again left Hernando. Their statement of casualties yesterday-1 major, 1 captain, 1 lieutenant, and 17 privates killed; between 40 and 50 wounded.
JAMES R. CHALMERS,
COLDWATER DEPOT, April 18, 1863,
VIA SENATOBIA, [April] 19.
Enemy reported rebuilding railroad bridge over Nonconnah, on Memphis and Tennessee Railroad, and advanced within 4 miles of Hernando
*See Grierson's raid, Barteau's report, p. 533.
36 R R-VOL XXIV, PT. I