infantry, which attacked us last night, had been re-enforced by the Twentieth, and Twenty-SECOND Mississippi Mounted Infantry, and that they were encamped at the creek, 3 miles beyond Edwards Station. Large bodies of negroes appeared at my lines, affirming the above report and speaking of more troops appearing. To come to the fact in these informations, I ordered so much of the cavalry as I could make available, about 100 men and one section of mounted howitzer, to march to Edwards and beyond, and feel the enemy. They left here by noon, under Major [Samuel] Montgomery, and found at the place indicated a rebel camp. On the approach of my troops, the rebels left in a southern direction. Contrabands thought they would go to Baker's or Fourteen-Mile Creek, toward Hall's Ferry. The major (Montgomery) at once returned to Edwards Station and took then a more direct road for Hall's Ferry. He soon came up with the rebel tried to form, the Sixth Missouri charged, and rain their force 4 by-road for Hall's Ferry, the other the Utica road. Finding that the fellows were better mounted than anticipated, the major halted and returned. He arrived here at 6. 30 p. m., with 2 prisoners. They say that there were six companies (in the aggregate at least 300 strong) of the Twentieth Mississippi Mounted Infantry in to-day's skirmish on their side, which were dispersed by 100 of the Sixth Missouri. They further state that the Twenty-SECOND Mississippi and Eight Kentucky Infantry were in their vicinity, but that the four companies belonging to the Twentieth Mississippi were detached under Major-Rorer, and operating WEST of the Big Black. They had left Canton some time ago for Benton and the Yazoo. You will remember that this statement corroborates the information transmitted in my letter of June 4. The prisoners could or would not tell anything relative to the movements of other rebel troops, but I will try again to-morrow morning to pump them. If had a little more cavalry, I have no doubt that the surprise and capture of a number of these mounted troops were feasible. Awaiting your orders,
I, am with great esteem your very obedient servant,
P. J. OSTERHAUS,
Lieutenant Colonel John A. RAWLINS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, department of the Tennessee.
HEADQUARTERS NINTH DIVISION,
Big Black, MISS., June 7, 1863-6 p. m.
GENERAL: Your dispatch of 1. 45 o'clock has just come to hand. I sent you by orderly this forenoon all the news since yesterday night's attack. The orderly must have tarried somewhere as, the letter ought to have been at your headquarters by dinner time. By this time he has no doubt, delivered my letter. Colonel Wright, with about 200 men, is with me, and I had the honor to report his arrival some ten days since. Since I wrote you this a. m. I received further and reliable news from