War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0324 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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the rolling stock on the Southern road was worn out, and had been replaced by Memphis and Charleston stock. The rebels think that Vicksburg will fall, and acknowledge a defeat at Port Gibson and Grand Gulf. At Mobile they are building a new line of intrenchments inside of the old one; also still at work on the Columbus fortifications. Everything in the shape of Government works and stores has been moved to Selma.

Ruggles is in command at Okolona; has infantry, cavalry, and artillery. No troops of any consequence in Columbia. The above can be relied upon in the main. Up to the time they left Rome-six days ago-they put forces at Vicksburg between 20,000 and 30,000.



Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


[MAY 17-18, 1863. - For Hurlbut and Dodge to Rosecrans, in reference to Streight's raid, see Series I, VOL. XXIII, Part II, p. 335.]

BLACK RIVER, MISS., May 18, 1863.

Major General John A. McClernand,

Commanding Thirteenth Army Corps:

Move your corps as early as possible, taking the direct road as far as Mount Albans. From that point reconnoiter well as you advance. If a parallel road can be found within 3 miles of the direct road, take it. No teams will be allowed to cross the river until all the troops are over, except ambulances and ammunition wagons. One brigade will be left to guard the bridge and trains, and to bring the latter over after the troops have all passed.



In the Field, Big Black River, May 18, 1863-7 a. m.

Major General U. S. GRANT:

GENERAL: Your dispatch is received, and I have the honor to inform you that its contents as to the order of moving my forces and trains were anticipated by a corresponding order communicated to DIVISION commanders last night.

I will commence crossing over the river within twenty minutes. You say take a parallel road if I find one; I suppose you mean to divide my forces on two roads, if I can. If I am mistaken, please correct me.

Can you inform me the distance from the bridge to Saint Albans?

Respectfully, yours, &c.,

JOHN A. McClernand.

BLACK RIVER, MISS., May 18, 1863.

Major General J. B. McPHERSON, Comdg. SEVENTEENTH Army Corps:

Start your columns at the earliest practicable moment. Their road, you being in the center, will be the direct Vicksburg road.

No teams will be allowed to pass over the road until all the troops and artillery have passed, except ammunition wagons and ambulances. One brigade will be left to guard the bridge and wagon trains, and to pass the latter over as soon as all the troops are out of the way.