War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0938 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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mounted infantry, unaccustomed to cavalry drill. My battery, as previously reported, in bad condition. I would very respectfully suggest it might prove hazardous, by thus depriving my command of one of the strongest and one of the most efficient companies, in holding my battery against a bold and rapid attack of the enemy.

Captain S. Henderson has been ordered to report a few picked scouts to headquarters. You informed me that, by dispatch from General Johnston, the enemy is moving in two DIVISIONS on the Valley road. If it is meant by the Valley road the one leading between the Wire road and Yazoo River, I would very respectfully suggest, from all information obtained through deserters, my scouts, and other sources, that the enemy is not moving in that direction. I have just ordered a reliable officer to proceed in that direction and ascertain the facts. The enemy retired from his point (two DIVISIONS or more) by way of the Wire road, in the direction of Vicksburg. Colonel Wood's [command] fired on their rear guard to-day. I hope to be able to dispatch you definitely this evening as to their reported movements on the Valley road. I have scouts below Satartia, On the Valley road, and the enemy are retiring toward Snyder's Bluff.

I am, captain, yours, very respectfully.


MAY 31, 1863-9 a. m.

Captain T. M. NELSON:

DEAR SIR: I have just returned from our extreme advance, about 11 1/2 miles; started on the Valley road, at William Russell's, at which place the enemy encamped last night-infantry, cavalry, and artillery. At 8 o'clock this morning they are moving, one column on the Valley road, another column crossing the ridge again for the Vicksburg road. We fired on some men who were sent back to burn some corn. They are destroying all the provision, corn, meat, &c., in the valley. We have a considerable cavalry force here now, and will probably harass them some to-day. The enemy is moving cautiously and well protecting their rear. I think they will not stop short of their Vicksburg lines. I would return to-day, but am uncertain where I could find you.

Yours, respectfully,


Lieutenant, Commanding Squad.

OFFICE MISS. CENTRAL R. R. Co., Grenada, May 31, 1863.

General JOSEPH E. Johnston, C. S. Army, Comdg., Jackson:

DEAR SIR: I hope I may not be thought instructive by the suggestions I am about to make.

It is conceded by all that the wheat crop in the northern counties of this State is large, and is now being harvested. There is great danger that after it is gathered it will be destroyed by our enemies.

The product of the crop refereed to is important to sustain our army and citizens. The producer desires to sell as speedily as possible, to prevent its destruction and to obtain means to pay his taxes. The means of transportation is wanting. Teams cannot be obtained. The only remaining means is such repairs of the railroad as will permit the running of small cars by horse or some other power.

The Mississippi and Tennessee Road is running its trains from Grenada to Panola, probably as far as it is safe to run them, even if they