LA GRANGE, March 13, 1863.
One of my best spies is just in from [S. G.] Street's guerrilla band. Courier from Jackson last night brought word to Street that heavy guns in Vicksburg were being dismounted, and place was being evacuated as fast as possible.
C. S. HAMILTON.
[MARCH 14, 1863. -For Rosecrans to Halleck, giving reports about Vicksburg, &c., from Confederate sources, see Series I, VOL. XXIII, Part II, p. 140.]
MEMPHIS, TENN., March, 14, 1863.
Colonel J. C. KELTON, Assistant Adjutant-GENERAL:
Colonel Hatch just returned. Has completely destroyed Tallahatchee rebel bridge in the face of superior force. Prisoner taken, a native of New York, reports not more than 20,000 men at Vicksburg. There are about 1,500 rebel cavalry above the Tallahatchee.
S. A. HURLBUT.
HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Memphis, Tenn., March 14, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel John A. RAWLINS, Assistant Adjutant-GENERAL:
SIR: Colonel Dougherty, at Paducah, having telegraphed that Fort Heiman was occupied by rebel forces, I ordered General Asboth, with two regiments and a battery, to disperse any force there before they obtained a lodgment. I have heard from him at Paducah on his way up. I am informed by General Rosecrans that he does not think any serious movement is intended there, but that our expedition will answer a good purpose.
Colonel Hatch, with SECOND Iowa Cavalry, destroyed the bridge across the Tallahatchee thoroughly in the face of a considerable force of the rebel cavalry, without loss. Grierson started from La Grange, and, by forced march, surprised [R. V.] Richardson's camp, near Covington, killing 25 and capturing 68. The remainder took to the bushes. His camp and camp equipage were burned. Lieutenant-Colonel Wallace, moving from Germantown for the same purpose, captured Colonel [R. F.] Looney, Thirty-eighth Tennessee, 3 officers, and several men. Among the number is the notorious Cushman, who is wounded in the arm.
I have telegraphed to Saint Louis for 1,500 horses to remount the cavalry and get them into condition for hard service. Lauman's DIVISION (Fourth) is now camped along the city lines, about 2 miles from court-house. No special news of interest in this vicinity. I inclose copies of telegrams which strongly indicate the abandonment of Vicksburg. I submit them for what they are worth. It has been my opinion for some days that they will not risk a large army about Vicksburg, and that you may expect, as soon as foothold for any large force is obtained on the east side of Yazoo, that they will retire. FIFTY desperate men with small boats, it appears to me, might drop unperceived past Vicksburg to the mouth of Big Black, and pulling up that stream through the