War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0224 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

Search Civil War Official Records

cut down the wire and the poles. The citizen informed the officer that the telegraph was put up only the day before by our soldier, but he would not listen to any such stuff. I hope to have the line up again by to-morrow night. The railroad track between here and Vicksburg is also-repaired again, and a lat car constructed rom the ruins on the east side of the river is put on the track. Four mules, in lieu of locomotive, form an essential addition to my transportation,

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant.

P. J. OSTERHAUS,

Brigadier-General, commanding.

Lieut. Cool. JAOH A. RAWLINS,

Asst. Adjut. General, dept. Of the Tennessee, Vicksburg, MISS.

HEADQUARTERS NINTH DIVISION,

Big Black River Railroad Bridge, MISS., June 21, 1863.

GENERAL: Favored by your dispatch of yesterday, I ordered a strong patrol to scour all the country from this place to Hall's Ferry, on Big Black River, in co-operation with Lieutenant-Colonel Bush's party, which, hinder your instruction, will search the lowlands from Hall's Ferry down Big Black, and up the Mississippi to Warrenton. My patrol will visit all points where the river is accessible and affords any chance of crossing. Immediately on its return I will report the result. I keep constant pickets at Baldwin's Ferry, and maintain a system of patrols from the bridge here to that ferry, and thence to Hall's Ferry, where Lieutenant-Colonel Bush's battalion is ordinarily stationed. From the information I regularly receive from these points, I dare say that there are only a very few straggling rebels on the Mississippi side of Big Black, if any. There is a force somewhere on Fourteen-Mile Creek, to watch the southern avenues to Vicksburg, and the river being fordable in may places, a few men may venture over, but no force of any consequence will appear on the WEST side of the stream. All the forces of the enemy n my front are mounted infantry, of the THIRD, sixteenth, twentieth, and Twenty-SECOND Mississippi, and Eight Kentucky, under Acting Brigadier-General Lyon, exceeding, altogether not 2,500 men. They are of no desperate description, but they make their appearance at almost any point from Bridgeport Ferry to Baldwin; 's Ferry, and are busily engaged, besides so watching our movements, in collecting negroes and articles of subsistence. Poisoners taken in several skirmishers my men had with them pretend a large regular cavalry force (4,000 or 5,000 men) had arrived from Bragg's army, and was encamped near Brownsville or Clinton, but scouts sent out in these directions do not confirm the prisoner's statement. In relation to other rebel forces, I have no news worthy of notice Canton, his force numbering 15,000 effective men at the outside. He was making great efforts to swell his numbers, ordering all available troops to join him. At Jackson he left not over 3,000 men, but there are serious doubts if he can collect over 20,000 . The cavalry was compelled to disperse, and take up such quartermaster where they can find forge. The intention of General Johnston's army to attempt an attack on our Vicksburg army is proclaimed by everybody, but even the most decide rebels do not appear to be sanguine of his success. I shall take great pleasure, general, to inform you instantly of anything which may happen on my front. I embrasure this opportunity to