way. There is a small force at Abbeville, but they need not pay any attention to them. Rapidity is the necessity of this special duty. Arrived there, the roads fork from Pontotoc. One regiment, the weaker of the two flanks, should swing to the right upon the railroad near Oxford, cut the wires, if any, cross the Tallahatchee, and move up on your track to overhaul and report to you. The other will strike the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, destroy wires, &c., and use up as much of the track as they can, and do it thoroughly; break up all provision depots they can find, burn tanks, and do all the damage possible; gather all the horses they can manage, and return by the best route they can select to La Grange.
The strongest and best mounted command will proceed with all possible speed, making direct fort the Jackson and Meridian road, and break it up, either at the Chunky Bridge or some other stream, cutting wires and destroying track in every direction, as far as they can reach. It is not impossible that they may be able to strike Jackson or Columbus.
If Pearl River is fordable near Canton, an effort must be made upon the rolling stock there, and depots and shops. They are lightly guarded.
In all these cases they and their horses must live on the country, and horses, of course, will be taken wherever advantageous.
They should start with oats in the nosebags, and with four days' provisions, cautioned when they set out to make them last.
If Grierson does not arrive in time, Hatch, who is ranking officer in fact, will take command.
The force sent down on the long dash will be selected without reference to regiments, unless Grierson returns, when he had best take his own. Explain to the officers that as much credit and usefulness belongs to those who take the flank as the others.
I do not know anything further to suggest. The details must be left discretionary.
Your obedient servant,
S. A. HURLBUT.
HEADQUARTERS THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS, In the Field, near New Carthage.
Major General U. S. GRANT, Comdg. Department of the Tennessee:
GENERAL: I am concentrating all my corps (expect one regiment, to be left temporarily at Richmond) between Holmes' plantation and New Carthage, 6 miles. I will forward the regiment to be left at Richmond as soon as you can relieve it by ordering forward other troops. The cavalry I have charged with patrolling the levee between here and Richmond.
A detachment of 300 or 400 of the enemy, ferrying and wading bayous, made a dash at the levee and our lines, 3 miles from here, yesterday morning, but were driven back in hasty flight, with the loss of 2 men captured, and, perhaps, others wounded.
I would emphasize the opinion, previously communicated, of the importance of your ordering other troops forward immediately to hold the line from here to Richmond and the Bend. Two of General Osterhaus' regiments are already transferred to the Mississippi levee at Carthage. The balance of his DIVISION will follow to the same place as rapidly as small craft (in the absence of the expected transports) will permit. No gunboats here yet.
JOHN A. McClernand.