War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0246 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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by Birdsong Ferry or the ford above, I will blockade it, so as to force him to come on the main ridge within striking distance of Hayne's Bluff, so that we won't care if he comes or not.

Yesterday four companies of my cavalry (Fourth Iowa) had gone to Big Black River on the road to obstruct it. They had felled many trees, and must have been off their guard when their pickets came in from three directions, giving notice of the approach of the enemy. Quiet a fight ensued, in which our men got the worst, and were forced to fly.

As soon as the news reached camp, colonel Swan went to the ground with his regiment, and fond 8 dead, 12 wounded, and about 20 MISSING. From the people he heard the attack came from Wirt Adam's cavalry, which had gone off in the direction of Mechanicsburg. Colonel Swan buried the dead, and brought off all the wounded except one, who was left well cared for at a house. He could hear of but about 12 prisoners in the hands of the enemy, so that he excepts some 8 more will have gone down to Osterhaus, and will come in to-day.

The party lost that 2-pounder gun we captured at Jackson, but before abandoning it they disabled it by taking on the breech-pin. The fact of our coming out to day is attributed by the secesh to our purpose to punish the perpetrators of this action.

I will send you positive intelligence to night if Johnson be coming or not this side of Big Black River. On the best evidence now procurable, he is not coming this way, or at this time.

I take it for granted you do not want me to attempt to follow him across that river unless after a defeat. If he comes to this side, I can hold him till re-enforced, and then I know we can whip him. In the believe he will put himself in such a pocket.

Yours, truly,


Major-General, commanding Expedition.

General GRANT.


Bear Creek,, June 24.

Not the sign of an enemy from Post Oak Ridge Post-office to Birdsong Ferry. Every point has been examined today, and nothing seen. Port Hudson is taken; please telegraph me the whole truth. The bearer of this note will wait an answer at the Bluff. I am now with General Parker, at Post Oak Post-office, but will return to my extreme right, near Young's.




Camp at Bear Creek, June 27, 1863.

SIR: It was my purpose to have come to headquarters yesterday, but the importance of knowing the ground in this quarter, so broken and complicated, included me to continue what I had begun, and I continued my exploration. Big Black River is so easily passable at many points