[Indorsement Numbers 2.] HEADQUARTERS COSBY'S BRIGADE, July 21, 1863
Brigadier-General JACKSON, Commanding Cavalry:
I have the honor to state that I used, as I thought, every necessary precaution to obtain the earliest information of the advance of the enemy. My vedettes were about 5 miles WEST of Brandon, and a small party of scouts within 4 miles of Jackson-as near as they could go. This party was nearly captured by a small party of the enemy's cavalry, who pursued them with vedettes, and then turned back. They were reported to me about two hours previous to the advance of the main body, but as only a party of the enemy's scouts. I did not consider it worthy of a notification to General Johnston or yourself. When their main body advanced, its advance guard was immediately before the artillery and infantry, and but a few moments elapsed between the appearance of the two. By the time the report could be brought in, they had advanced to within 3 miles of town, and to within 1 mile of the point selected to check them. As soon as any estimate of their strength could be reported, a courier was started to General Johnston. You were present, and it was sent with your knowledge. It should properly have been sent as by your order, but this was not done. I trust hereafter to be able to transmit information more quickly, and through you. The dispatch should have stated about 3 miles in place of 2.
G. B. COSBY.
OKOLONA, July 19, 1863.
To the PRESIDENT:
Military orders for the destruction by fire of railroad equipments to the value of $5,000,000 have been issued. They can be rendered useless to the enemy for many months at a loss of one-THIRD of their present value.
The order should be countermanded if not a necessity.
President Memphis and Charleston Railroad.
Give orders that efforts be made to bring away equipments. They should be taken down the road for removal as far as may be necessary.
RICHMOND, VA., July 20, 1863.
Your dispatch to the President, of the 19th instant, received. Your statement leaves no choice; thirty days cannot be needed for those who are within two or three days of their homes; ten days is surely as much as, in the present condition of the country, any soldier should claim for attention to his private affairs. Confiding in your discretion and anxious desire to keep as many as possible in service, and to bring others back to duty at the earliest practicable period, you are left according to your judgment, under the limitation above suggested, to give furloughs as proposed by yourself. You will report as promptly as possible the result of your action and the companies or regiments which may agree to continue in service.
Report by telegraph.