War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0928 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

Search Civil War Official Records

PANOLA, May 28, 1863.

General CHALMERS, Canton:

Colonel [H. C.] Young has reliable information that the enemy contemplate a simultaneous movement from several points on the railroad, with a view of crossing the Tallahatchee at the upper fords, and moving on us at this point. Four infantry regiments are already mounted at LA Grange.

Carroll's man has just returned; his report confirms the estimate you have. He traveled the road from Memphis to LA Grange.

R. McCULLOCH,

Colonel, Commanding.

HDQRS. FIRST MILL. DIST., DEPT. OF MISS. AND E. La.,

In the Field, Okolona, MISS., May 28, 1863.

Colonel B. S. EWELL, Asst. Adjt. General, General Johnston's Hdqrs.:

COLONEL: At 11. 30 p. m., 26th instant, I received a telegram from Major Maugum, at Meridian, giving copy of dispatch from Colonel [T. H.] Rosser, at Gainesville, Ala., saying-

Have reliable information that raid will pass Scooba to-night at 12 o'clock, en route to this place. Have no troops here. Can you send aid?

To this no attention was paid, as I knew such an enemy could not have gone through my lines, and could not believe his approach from any other quarters would have been unheralded until reaching so near to Gainesville. At 1. 20 of the same night (26th) I received the following from Major Mangum:

Have just received another dispatch from Colonel Rosser, stating that two gentleman have sent him word that Yankee cavalry is this side of Neshoba County, en route for Gainesville. He asks for aid. I cannot send off the few men I have here unless your order it.

Not yet crediting the report, I felt it my duty to give it some attention, and immediately ordered Major Mangum to send a small detachment of his men to Gainesville, and to hasten forward to Meridian, if possible, the troops at Selma. Orders were at the same time given to some small companies raised for local defense. At 9. 15 the next morning (27th), when leaving Columns, I received a telegram from Colonel Rosser, stating that " My couriers have returned; there is no enemy. My informant was of the best character, but my informants were deceived. " Arriving at WEST Point, I was informed that the whole affair had been planned to see what effect it would have upon the nerves of the militia of the Gainesville neighborhood, and by telegraph from WEST Point Colonel Rosser was immediately instructed to make a rigid investigation of the matter, and, if found to be so, to send the offender or offenders under guard to Columbus. I have thus given all the authority I have about the reported raid, which would not have even elicited any orders from me, notwithstanding the positive statements referred to, had I not supposed a possibility, based on repeated rumors favoring the idea, that it might be Grierson's raid returning, and having telegraphic instructions from Lieutenant-General Pemberton that it would be inexcusable to allow that raid to return through my district, I felt it was necessary to take steps to provide against such a contingency.

I have depended, and to rely, upon my cavalry and scouts for certain information of the enemy's movements north of me, where alone there is an enemy to be watched.