I think it a mere party of observation, as they have not advanced. The cavalry sent by General Loring has arrived, and will relieve the cavalry in front. Lieutenant-Colonel [E. W.] Pettus, who was supposed to have been killed, has come in; was prisoner, and escaped.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. L. STEVENSON.
HDQRS. STEVENSON'S DIVISION, Barnes', May 6, [1863.]
Lieutenant Colonel J. THOMPSON:
COLONEL: In company with Generals [S. M.] Barton and [S. D.] Lee, I rode over the whole front this morning, and we find that there is no such line as the one of which you spoke yesterday. The only line is the one which we now hold. It is too long-9 miles-for one DIVISION, but if not re-enforced, I think we can fall back safely.
General Barton feels certain that he can hold Warrenton with the artillery now there and 300 infantry against any force of gunboats. I will send out to-night a reconnaissance in force on all the roads, so that I can ascertain the force in which the force on all the roads, so that I can ascertain suggest that General [M. L.] Smith be held in reserve on the Hall's Ferry road, near the Big Bayou. He will be in easy supporting distance of me, the city, or the troops on Baldwin's Ferry road. There is a good camp there, with plenty of water.
I ask that an order be issued with regard to the forage ration, and that an inspector be required to watch closely the issues in both the quartermaster's and subsistence departments.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. L. STEVENSON.
LANIER'S PLANTATION, May 6, 1863-10. 30 a. m.
GENERAL: Courier from picket at Baldwin's Ferry just arrived. The courier reports the enemy passing up the Big Black toward Edwards Ferry. Saw plainly about 60, who rode up to the opposite bank of the river. The man at the ferry says the enemy stated their number to be 4,000 or 5,000, all cavalry, bound for Edwards Depot. I have sent courier to General Bowen with the information. Nothing definite can be said as to the number, but I have taken the liberty to send one of General Loring's staff off at once to converse with the man [Hacklu] living at the ferry, who is reported by Mr. Lanier as a reliable man. I have also directed him to try and see Mr. Newman, who lives near by, on the Edwards Depot road, and ascertain what he saw of them.
P. S. -The commands of the First DIVISION are all up.
I forward it by special express.
W. W. LORING.
OXFORD, May 6, 1863.
One thousand and seventy-nine present for duty, and about 100 in all on duty at Panola. Half of Blythe's regiment have never been in camp.