there in case it is not deemed unnecessary. If possible, I would prefer that the troops who have thrown up these trenches with their own hands, who have had their places in them pointed out, and who would prefer to remain together in a battle, be allowed to fight in them.
Please send further instruction to-night.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. S. BOWEN.
HDQRS. SECOND DIV., ARMY OF MISS., Bovina, May 11, 1863.
Major R. W. MEMMINGER,
SIR: I have the honor to state that the intrenchments in front of Big Black Bridge will be finished to--night, and beg leave to suggest that, although we can readily preserve the bridge by a proper defense, yet the position can be turned if the enemy pass Edwards and cross at Bridgeport Ferry. My DIVISION is not sufficient to give battle at both points, and while we have 9 or 10 miles to pass from one point to the other, the enemy march 3 or 4, from Edwards Depot.
If a force cannot be spared for that point, could not my command, if supported at Raymond, move forward, and hold a position between Edwards and Fourteen-Mile Creek, fronting south, with our right near enough to Big Black to force them to cross at Baldwin's? Could we not thus preserve the entire railroad, as well as the bridge?
I have never reconnoitered the country alluded to-have simply traveled over the roads; and only desire to express my readiness to perform my portion of the work if the lieutenant-general commanding deems it expedient to advance our left wing.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. S. BOWEN.
HDQRS. CAV., near Hankinson's Ferry, May 11, 1863-8. 15 a. m.
Colonel [ISHAM W.] GARROTT:
I have just returned from the ferry, and find the boats destroyed or taken away. Very few of the enemy to be seen; six or eight, which would, perhaps, indicate simply a picket. The officer on picket says he distinctly heard one drum beat reveille a little below the ferry.
I have now 3 men scouting, who were ordered to return by 12 o'clock. As we had only one canoe, it was impossible to cross in any force sufficient to make much resistance. I have advanced the pickets to within 250 yards of the ferry, and in sight. I am still inclined to think the enemy have gone up the river.
General Grant's headquarters said to be at the college on Raymond and Rocky Springs road.
The Yanks have made very good breastworks on the bluff, but we could not see any embrasures for artillery, and yet we were at the ferry, not more than 125 yards from the bluff. I will report as soon as the scouts return.
W. N. BROWN,
Lieutenant Colonel Twentieth Mississippi Regiment, Comdg. Cavalry.
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