War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0213 Chapter XXXVI. THE SIEGE OF Vicksburg MISS.

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back, they head of the FIFTH Kentucky passing in the immediate vicinity but saw no rebels whatever. The above detachments appear to constitute all the enemy's force in our immediate vicinity; but from corroborating information gleaned from different parties, it is pretty certain that General Loring was night before last, with 5,000 or 6,0-00 men, at Jackson, while General Johnston is at Canton 18,000 strong, and expecting re-enforcements within eight days, which would swell his army to about 40,000. He would not commence hostilities until these troops have arrived, and his attack would be directed against Hayne's Bluff, crossing Big Black at Morris' Bluff. I give this rumor because it was spread among the knowing ones to some extent, either for keeping up the sinking hopes of the true Southerners or because it is founded on some truth and probability. Allow me, colonel, to direct your attention to the very weak number of cavalry at this point, not over 200 effective, and this number, by the very hard service, is pretty much run down. If compatible with other necessities, I would like to have the force strengthened, not only to give to the overworked men and horses a chance to rest, but to look a little closer after these mounted infantry lurking around me. On this occasion let me remember the Fourth Missouri Cavalry, a splendid regiment, now at Columbus Ky.

I am colonel. Very respectfully. Your obedient servant.

P. J. OSTERHAUS,

Brigadier-General, commanding.

Lieutenant Colonel John A. RAWLINS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, department Headquarters.

HEADQUARTERS NINTH DIVISION.

Big Black River Railroad Bridge, June 1, 1863.

COLONEL: Since my last letter I am work in destroying the railroad track east but the absence of the proper, on in fact, of all tools destroyed by fire, besides the burning of all wooden structures as far heard of some forces beyond Brownsville. The various parties out yesterday burned 825 bales of (Confederate States of America) cotton and 8,000 bushels of corn. They only found a few horses and mules; they are getting scare. A negro just in front Jackson, which he left yesterday morning, saw no troops anywhere this side along the railroad, but reports General Johnston with a large force at Jackson, in camp on both sides of the river. He calls the force three DIVISIONS. On Saturday last five trains with troops arrived at Jackson, the troops coming from Virginia and Carolina. They had some field artillery with them. The negro beard nothing-indicative of General Johnston's intentions except that he would re-enforce Pemberton and give us a severe"whopping". They are still throwing up fortifications at Jackson.

I am, colonel, with great respect, your very obedient servant,

P. J. OSTERHAUS,

Brigadier-General, commanding.

Lieutenant Colonel John A. RAWLINS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, department of the Tennessee.