The skirmishing on Port Gibson road was conducted by 75 men, and we pushed them back several miles without developing any force.
BOVINA, May 11, 1863.
An officer, who has been around and in the enemy's lines, reports about 40,000 infantry and artillery, camped from Rocky Springs to the college, north of Big Sandy. About 2,000 cavalry are gleaning the country of everything movable and sending it to their camp. Their cavalry moved as far as Fourteen-Mile Creek this afternoon, and were driven back 3 miles by Colonel [E.] Gates' scouts.
JNO. S. BOWEN.
[HEADQUARTERS LORING'S DIVISION], May 11, 1863.
Brigadier General John S. BOWEN,
GENERAL: The lieutenant-general commanding directs me to say to you will look out for Bachelor's Ferry, 3 miles below the bridge, and, if the enemy should attempt a crossing, you will throw forward the brigade you have at Bovina, and Major-General Loring will move up and supply its place with two brigades.
Very respectfully, &c.,
J. C. TAYLOR,
Vicksburg, May 11, 1863.
From information from General Tilghman of the enemy being in force opposite the ferry at Baldwin's, it is very probable that the movement toward Jackson is in reality on Big Black Bridge.
J. C. PEMBERTON.
BOVINA, May 11, 1863-9. 30 p. m.
Lieutenant J. C. TAYLOR,
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of May 11, directing me to look out for Bachelor's Ferry. To do this, I must move the reserve brigade toward the ferry named, which I would deem inadvisable, as they will all be needed to man the words in front of the bridge, where every piece of artillery and every man has his place marked out. The brigade on duty now in the trenches is entirely too small to defend such an extended line, and I do not think it safe to move the other brigade, unless General Loring's troops were here, ready to move over on the first alarm. Colonel Gates' pickets have been skirmishing to-day with the enemy, and they reported advancing, as reported to-day by telegraph to Vicksburg. I do not know where this ferry is, or where the road leading to it turns in. Colonel Gates' pickets are at Fourteen-Mile Creek ford and Montgomery Bridge over the same. Do they cover it? I can do nothing to-night, but will reconnoiter the position, and endeavor to find the road leading to it from here early in the morning, and be prepared to move the brigade