War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0215 Chapter XXXVI. THE SIEGE OF Vicksburg, MISS.

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HDQRS. NINTH DIVISION, THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS.

Big Black River Railroad Bridge, MISS. June 6, 1863. -10. 30. p. m.

COLONEL: My pickets on the east side of Big Black have been attacked this evening and after a pretty lively fire compelled to gall back behind the bayou bridge. I made the necessary preparations to repel any attack the enemy my intend, at the same time increasing the cavalry detachments on the Bridgeport and Hall's Ferry roads. In order to ascertain whether there is any force in my front, I ordered a strong patrol to go to Edwards by 3 p. m., and feel the enemy at all hazard. Since this morning I heard different contraband rumor of the approach of several regiments; but in spite of all vigilance, I could not get any reliable information, though I feel confident than there is something about to happen. You will kindly remember that I have five regiments, in the average not over 250 men each, and not a very formidable force against a real attempt on the part of the enemy to cross the river. I learn that the SECOND Brigade (Colonel Lindsey) is also withdrawn from the front. Would it be feasible to have him join me here? For many reasons it would be very desirable. The ambulance you sent yesterday to bring over Hovey's wounded from Champion's Hill are still here, as I considered it very unsafe to commander in that region. I dispatched a flag of truce to get the consent; the officer bearing in left here yesterday after dinner, and has not yet returned. I ordered him to go until he found the proper officer, and I am excepting the fall back since noon. The decision in the matter I will report at once. Very respectfully,

I am, your obedient servant.

P. J. OSTERHAUS,

Brigadier, general, commanding.

Lieutenant Colonel Water B. SCATES,

Assistant Adjutant General, thirteenth Army Corps.

HDQRS., NINTH DIVISION, THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

Big. Black River Railroad Bridge, MISS. June 7, 1863.

COLONEL: Yesterday night, by 9. 30 o'clock my pickets beyond the river, on the Edwards Station road, were attacked by some rebel force. There was quite lively firing for some time, and the commander of my bridge, in the line of the rifle-pits on the other side. The enemy, which I found out since was the Eight Kentucky Mounted Infantry, did not follow up, and this morning at 4 o'clock my cavalry was at Edwards, and report that they were in camp 3 miles beyond. Under instructions of Major-General McClernad, I sent of Friday last, a flag of truce into the enemy's lines, in order to procure from the Confederate State commander his consent to remove General Hovey's wounded from Champion's Hill into our lines. Lieutenant Foster, the bearer of the flag, returned at this moment. He was within 6 miles of Jackson when his letter was taken from him, to be taken to Jackson. The lieutenant was then escort back, and an early reply to my request promised. Lieutenant Foster states that met no other troops this side of the point where he was halted except the Eight Kentucky (mounted); but from all information collected, there seems to be considerable force at