COLLIERVILLE, November 9, 1863.
A Scotchman by the name of Gordon, connected with the commissary department, has just arrived from Okolona. He is a deserter. He states that there is a small force of cavalry about Tupelo. Loring's troops have gone to Canton. Chalmers is at Oxford. The rebels are building the railroad from Okolona to Tupelo, and are repairing the railroad from Oxford to the Tallahatchie. Has heard of no movement on Corinth or any place on this line. Rations of meat for about 2,000 men are shipped every week from Meridian to Okolona.
Colonel Second Iowa Cavalry, Comdg. Third Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Memphis, Tennessee, November 9, 1863.
Maj. Gen. J. B. McPHERSON,
Seventeenth Army Corps, Vicksburg, Miss.:
GENERAL: I inclose you telegram from Major-General Grant.* It is of very serious importance that Tuttle's division be pushed forward as rapidly as possible. You will see from the tenor of Grant's dispatch the necessity.
As it is apparent that organized warfare is over in Arkansas, I this day telegraph to General Halleck recommending that Davidson's cavalry division be thrown across the Mississippi to strike for Grenada, Canton, Columbus, and thence to Eastport to dissipate the cloud of irregular and regular cavalry that hang around us. I can put 2,500 cavalry in as a flanking column, and thus destroy all their lines of communication and approach. I do not know that this will be done, but if done it will be the prettiest flank movement of the war.
I am, general, your obedient servant,
S. A. HURLBUT,
Maj. E. D. OSBAND,
Commanding Battalion Fourth Illinois Cavalry:
MAJOR: You will proceed to-morrow morning with your command, including the colored men whom you have enlisted, to Haynes' Bluff by land, where a steam-boat will be in readiness to ferry you across the Yazoo River. From that point you will make a scout up through the country west of the Yazoo and through the Deer Creek country, to break up and destroy and bands of the enemy whom you may hear of, and finally cross to Skipwith's Landing, where you will established your camp and recruit your colored regiment. During the expedition you will, of course, gather up what
*See November 6,p.64.