War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0217 Chapter XXXVI. THE SIEGE OF Vicksburg, MISS.

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crossed the Rappahannock. I keep up the most stringent system of guards and patrols all along the river up and down, and I can say that there in no vestige of any other enemy than the Eight Kentucky. You will permit me to repeat my opinion, that the cavalry force at my disposal is utterly inadequate to guard against and repel any attack the enemy might attempt. There ought to be a strong force established at Bridgeport, to watch and defend the very exposed ferry there and three practicable fords north of it. I consider an attack in that direction moree, because all roads for and from Vicksburg converge three and from the bend in the river its left flank well secured, and its lines of retreat both northeast and east open, there being several very good parallel roads, and the river passable by the three practicable fords.

I am, general, with great esteem, your most obedient servant,

P. J. OSTERHAUS,

Brigadier-General, commanding.

John A. McClernand,

Major-General, commanding.

HDQRS. NINTH DIVISION, THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

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

GENERAL: Since writing you by your return orderly, Major [Samuel Montgomery, with a detachment of the Sixth Missouri Cavalry, which I had sent out to Edwards to feel the enemy, has returned. He found six companies of the rebel Twentieth Mississippi (mounted) on the place indicated, i. E.,3 miles beyond Edwards Station, on the Raymond road. On the approach of the Sixth Missouri, the rebels left in a southern direction, and Major Montgomery, learning from some contrabands that they in all probability would take the Hall's Ferry road, immediately returned to Edwards and made for the same ferry. This being a shorter cut, our men soon came up with the rebels, and, after, some firing, charged them, breaking their line, one part running by a by-road toward Hall's Ferry, the other toward Utica. Two prisoners fell into our hands, whom I will forward to your headquarters to-morrow morning. The major (Montgomery) says that he could not secure more, these fellows being better mounted than he expected. You remember my statement a few days since that some rebel cavalry had crossed the Big Black somewhere north near General Blair's command. This is substantiated by the prisoners, who say that four companies of their regiment, under Major Rorer, are in the region. If nothing happens, I go to Bridgeport to-morrow morning in order to collect some information. With great respect,

I am, general, your obedient servant.

P. J. OSTERHAUS,

Brigadier-General, commanding.

Major-General McClernand,

Commanding Thirteenth Army Corps.

HDQRS. NINTH DIVISION, THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

Big Black, MISS., June 7, 1863.

COLONEL: A short time after my dispatch of this morning had left I received reliable information that the Eight Kentucky Mounted In-