IN FIELD, rocky Springs, MISS., May 9, 1863.
Colonel WRIGHT, Commanding Cavalry:
COLONEL: Your dispatch, 8th, is received. Reconnoiter the enemy cautiously, and, if possible, find out his strength and intentions. Keep me fully advised of any important movements. Find out, if possible, whether troops have been running up north from Port Hudson, on the Mississippi Central Railroad.
You can fall back at dark to some good position near Mrs. Myers'. Leave vedettes along the road and near the different crossings, to give notice of any movements on the part of the enemy. Caution the vedettes to be particularly vigilant. I have sent my escort company to Newland's Mills.
JAS. B. McPHERSON.
MEMPHIS, Tenn., May 9, 1863.
Major General U. S. GRANT,
Comdg. Department of the Tennessee, Milliken's Bend, La.:
GENERAL: Yesterday evening at 7. 20 p. m. I received your dispatch. General Veatch was notified at once, and sends to-day four regiments of infantry to Milliken's Bend, La. The Fourth DIVISION, Brigadier-General Lauman commanding, is ready to embark by brigades, as soon as transportation is furnished.
I send you this DIVISION complete, and only regret that I am not there to fight it. I call in to-day four regiments from Corinth and two from Columbus, to fill vacancies.
I hope you will sweep out the rabble, especially as I learn that mischief-makers are looking after you, with hopes based upon your downfall.
I will keep this line, and be able to spare troops after a while. It is hard to part which my men, but I know you will give them a chance.
Your obedient servant,
S. A. HURLBUT.
[MAY 9-12, 1863. -For Hurlbut to Rosecrans, in reference to Streight's raid, see Series I, vol. XXIII, Part II, pp. 320,326.]
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE, Rocky Springs, MISS., May 10, 1863.
Major General N. P. BANKS, Comdg. Dept. of the Gulf:
GENERAL: My advance will occupy to-day Utica, Auburn, and a point equally advanced toward the Mississippi Southern Railroad, between the latter place and the Big Black. It was my intention, on gaining a foothold at Grand Gulf, to have sent a sufficient force to Port Hudson to have insured the fall of that place with your
co-operation, or rather to have co-operate with you to secure that end.
Meeting the enemy, however, as I did, south of Port Gibson, I followed him to the Big Black, and could not afford to retrace my steps. I also learned, and believe the information to be reliable, that Port Hudson is almost entirely evacuated. This may not be true, but it is the concurrent testimony of deserters and contrabands.
Many days cannot elapse before the battle will begin which is to decide the fate of Vicksburg, but it is impossible to predict how long it.