HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Memphis, Tenn., March 2, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel John A. RAWLINS,
SIR: Scouts just arrived from below, at La Grange, report that part of the rebel forces have already left Vicksburg. Some have gone south-Tilghman's command to Grenada; Thirty-first Mississippi, Colonel [J. A.] Orr, to Yazoo City. Some troops have also gone from Vicksburg to Jackson, on line of Pearl River. Several regiments have gone by way of Selma, to fortify the crossing of Tombigbee River. Eighty mounted infantry and 200 infantry from Corinth went to the gunboats on the Tennessee.
Have destroyed all flats and ferries for many miles on the river, captured 1 captain, 1 lieutenant and 20 men, 40 horses, and a large number of arms, and broken up a dangerous gang.
The Tennessee is as high as ever known. The delays about the railroad are very annoying. Colonel Webster now reports that he will not be able to run trains before the 7th. As soon as this is done, I will execute the orders in relation to abandoning the road as far as Jackson. This will require, when done, a force of cavalry at Columbus, and I am waiting for the regiment of cavalry which was promised by the major-general.
No news of any interest here.
Your obedient servant,
S. A. HURLBUT.
LA GRANGE, March 2, 1863.
A body of rebel cavalry ([T. N.] Waul's legion) is reported to have camped on the Coldwater last night. It will be well to have Colonel Lee watch his front closely, and to have the commands along the road notified. The report comes from a farmer. I have a cavalry force in that direction, but hear nothing from it.
C. S. HAMILTON.
MEMPHIS, TENN., March 2, 1863.
Captain a. m. PENNOCK,
U. S. Navy, Cairo, Ill.:
It is reported that the enemy threaten Fort Donelson. Send a gunboat up to ascertain and aid.
S. A. HURLBUT.
[MARCH 2, 1863. -For Asboth to Hurlbut and commanding officer at Fort Donelson, in reference to Van Dorn's movement, and for Hurlbut to Rosecrans on same subject, see Series I, VOL. XXIII, Part II.]
GRAND LAKE, ARK., March 3, 1863.
Major General J. B. McPHERSON,
Lake Providence, La.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report my arrival at this place, and also to acknowledge the receipt of your orders of the 2nd instant.
Nearly all of my transports are now here, and those behind will be in before morning.
6 R R-VOL XXIV, PT III