HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Camp Sherman, September 11, 1863.
Captain R. M. SAWYER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Fifteenth Army Corps:
CAPTAIN: The water in Big Black River is getting so very low that several fords between the bridge and Baldwin's Ferry are now practicable and of course require more careful and frequent watching. The duties of my mounted infantry, only about 60 men, are consequently very severe, but would be lessened materially by pushing their camp forward to Bachelor's place, beyond Silver Creek; the point could be well secured against surprise, and the men would save 8 to 10 miles on their patrols to Baldwin's Regan's, and Hall's Ferries, and to the Whittaker, Cline, Gibson, &c., settlements; these are the usual haunts of guerrillas, scouts, and id omne genus. If the suggestion meets with the general's sanction, I wait your orders accordingly.
Lieutenant Crathorne, commanding the scouting party to Baldwin's farm, on his return reports in addition to what I stated by telegraph, that the patrol sent across the river advanced 4 miles on the Auburn road, when they ran on at least 50 rebel cavalry. Of course our men turned, but were pursued by the enemy. All our men arrived but 5, who were mounted on jacks, and the lieutenant fears that they were taken prisoner.
Very respectfully, your very obedient servant,
P. J. OSTERHAUS,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
CORINTH, September 11, 1863.
Hold your command in readiness to repel an attack, or to move if necessary. Send a cavalry reconnaissance from Saulsbury toward Holly Springs.
E. A. CARR,
Washington City, September 11, 1863-3.50 p. m.
Headquarters, via Tullahoma, Tenn.:
The question presented in your telegram of the 8th instant, in relation to the pay of non-commissioned officers of colored troops, was carefully considered by the solicitor of the War Department, who decided that under existing laws the pay of their rank could not be allowed. The Department will ask Congress to change the law and place them on a footing of just equality, and with this assurance they have every where been contented.
EDWIN M. STANTON.