War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0962 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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rest of Hardee's corps should come here. Ask General Bragg the question you put to Colonel Ewell.

J. E. Johnston.


Major A. P. MASON,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Canton:

MAJOR: I have just returned from Bolton Station. Scouts report the enemy have a pontoon bridge at railroad bridge across Big Black. Eight of the heaviest caliber field pieces in position on the WEST bank, guarded by the DIVISION of infantry commanded by General Osterhaus; also one at Bridgeport.

The best fords on the river-the Messinger ford and one just above Birdsong Ferry-suitable for crossing artillery, &c.

report of reliable citizens from Memphis, June 8: 5,000 troops there; 20,000 sick and wounded; Memphis and Charleston Railroad almost entirely evacuated; enemy have withdrawn troops from Jackson, Bolivar, and Corinth, to re-enforce Grant; not more than 15,000 have passed down the river since Grant made his first attack on Vicksburg.

List of fords on Big Black: Ford back of Isaac Henry's field (he lives 8 miles southwest of Brownsville); one at Holmes' Bluff, just above Birdsong Ferry (good for artillery, wagons, &c.); one back of Holloman's, 4 miles below Coxe's Ferry ; at rail road bridge, just above ferry; also at the mouth of Bear Creek; ford 2 miles above Holmes' Bluff; the Messinger ford-I am unable to ascertain precisely where this ford is; will find out in a few days.

Very respectfully, major, your obedient servant,


HDQRS. FIFTH MIL. DIST., DEPT. MISS. AND E. La., Panola, June 13, 1863.

Colonel R. McCULLOCH,

Commanding First Brigade:

COLONEL: The brigadier-general commanding directs me to say that he has ordered the THIRD Brigade* to encamp near Senatobia, and the SECOND Brigade+ to move to the vicinity of Captain J. E. Mathews' plantation, with the intention of taking them to the Mississippi River. This movement will leave this place without troops, and the general desires that you should so dispose of your command as, in connection with the THIRD Brigade, to protect the approaches to it. In case of an advance by the enemy, you will make your dispositions to defend it, and will call upon General George to co-operate with you for that purpose. As forage has to be hauled from some distance to this place, it will be better that you should not return to it to encamp, unless other circumstances render it desirable. The general will command the expedition to the river in person.

I am, &c., your obedient servant,


Assistant Adjutant-General.


* Brigadier-General George commanding.

+ Colonel J. G. Stocks commanding.