The Forty -SECOND Ohio and four companies of Twenty-SECOND Kentucky Infantry, under Colonel, have just arrived.
(Through General Ord.)
HDQRS NINTH DIVISION, THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
June 22, 1863.
CAPTAIN: Your favor of this p. m., including duplicate telegram from General Grant, is just received (5. 20). My telegram in relation to a rebel attack on some four companies of Iowa cavalry north of Bridgeport is undoubtedly received by you. I sent the whole of the Sixth Missouri Cavalry (200) strong to Bridgeport Ferry, with orders to reestablish connection with the forces north of that point and with the advancing column of General Sherman.
Big Black is fordable now at many places between Bridgeport and Birdsong Ferries, and there is no doubt that the above-mentioned rebel force availed itself of these practicable crossings and dashed on our small force, which, perhaps, had taken all the precautionary measures to guard against such surprise.
It will be very important to have the now broken-up station re-established by another stronger force. The cavalry at Bridgeport and here is too small to withstand and energetic attack or to extend still more the line of guard. assigned to me, i, e., from Bridgeport to Baldwin's Ferry. The patrol sent out yesterday to connect with Colonel Bush have returned. They had to go as far as Hankinson's Ferry before they found the colonel. They did not meet any sings of an enemy.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. J. OSTERHAUS,
Commanding. Captain S. S. SEWARD, aide-de-Camp, thirteenth Army Corps.
BIG BLACK, June 23, 1863.
A large body of cavalry appeared in front of position across Big Black, on and near Smith's plantation.
BIG BLACK, June 25, 1863.
All quiet. Scouts from the east side of river report a picket (60 men) near Bridgeport, and a camp 2 miles back of Messinger's. Other cavalry is stationed at Queen's Hill Church, and north and south of Bolton. This statement is corroborated by that of a deserter of the Sixth Texas Cavalry, who came into my line yesterday, and gives the cavalry force in this vicinity as follows: First Texas Legion, 160 strong; THIRD Texas Cavalry, 300 strong' Sixth Texas Cavalry, 250 strong; NINTH Texas Cavalry, 250 strong; total 960 men, under General [J. W.]Whitfield. There is another cavalry brigade (Mississippians) about 2,000 strong, stationed near Big Black, on the direct road from Canton to Hayne's Bluff. Vernon east [north] of this. Two brigades, one rifled