HDQRS. NINTH DIVISION, thirteenth ARMY CORPS,
Big Black, MISS., June 9, 1863-1 p. m.
COLONEL: Major [Samuel] Montgomery, who is in command of the detachment of cavalry and mountain howitzer sent out to the ford north of Bridgeport (as stated in my dispatch of this morning), reports that he fell in with a pretty large force of rebel mounted troops, and that he took a position where he thought he could hold his own. About 150 rebels attempted to flank, but the major succeeded in repelling them. He sent through for all the cavalry left here, and I complied mountain howitzer. At the same time, I forward one regiment of infantry to the Bovina Bridgeport road, and took the necessary steps to guard against an attack on my left flank. My patrols to Edwards just returned. Found no sing of any enemy there, and it strikes me that the concentration of the mounted rebels forces, which were in my front yesterday, is very likely at the fords, where they can cross the river without molestation. A force sent out from Haynes' Bluff could cut off the retreat of any rebels on this side of the river.
I am, colonel, with great respect, your obedient servant,
P. J. OSTERHAUS.
Lieutenant Colonel John A. RAWLINS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, department of the Tennessee.
HEADQUARTERS NINTH DIVISION,
Big Black, MISS., June 9, 1863.
COLONEL: Since writing you this morning, I received information that a number of rebels were crossing and had crossed Big Black at Messinger's or Macon Fords, some miles north of Bridgeport Ferry, where my rayon terminates north. I at once started Major Montgomery with two companies of cavalry and one section of artillery (mountain howitzer) to re-enforce my pickets in that direction, and just now he informs me that he fell on with several hundred rebel mounted troops., the major took a position, which the enemy tried to flank, but he succeeded in driving him back, and thinks he can hold his position if re-enforced by all available cavalry. Without any delay I started the last man of the SIXTH Missouri Cavalry, at the same time taking such measures to received the cavalry, if forced to fall back, and to secure my left flank. It is of the highest importance to have a permanent, Light, and very available column established between Bridgeport and Oak Ridges Ferries, where the river is fordable at many places. To protect these points from here with the cavalry at my disposal is impossible. A cavalry force moving down to the Messengers' Ford from Hayne's Bluff would cut off every rebel on this side of the Big Black.
I am, colonel, with high esteem, your very obedient servant,
P. J. OSTERHAUS,
Lieutenant Colonel WALTER B. SCATES.
Assistant ADJUTANT-General, thirteenth Army Corps.