point yesterday for Jones' Valley. Jackson's division is in this vicinity. Ferguson has been direct to establish a line of couriers to Montevallo, sending duplicates of his reports to me to Major-General Loring, at Montevallo. Jackson starts several regiments to-day to the infected counties above.
From what Colonel Baker tells me it will be a difficult matter to find the haunts of the tories, as they go in small parties and can only be caught by dogs; however, every effort will be made in the matter. I can hear nothing definite from Decatur, except that the enemy are there about 2,000 strong (common report). Roddey and clanton are there and were expected to attack the place. I expect reliable information soon from the scouts I have sent above. Colonel Jackson sent 42 prisoners here yesterday; he captured them near Florence. The major who came down with the prisoner said Colonel Jackson had been ordered by General Clanton to Moulton. I think the importance of the occupation of Decatur has been overestimated as to its importance.
I heard this morning that the force which landed on the Tennessee near Eastport and marched towards Decatur passed that point and continued up the river. I should have state that Ferguson had also been instructed to operate against disloyal parties. Should I find a larger force can be used I will send it. Have a line of couriers to Montevallo.
I am, colonel, yours, respectfully,
S. D. LEE,
CONFIDENTIAL.] HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY DEPARTMENT,
Canton, Miss., April 19, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel THOMAS M. JACK,
COLONEL: Ascertaining several days since that the enemy was making active preparations at Vicksburg for an extensive raid through Yazoo and Holmes Counties, the force to consist of cavalry and mounted infantry, and having here at the time but 500 men with which to meet him, I determined to use a little finesse to delay his movements until I could, if possible, obtain additional forces. The arrangement made by General Ross to procure supplies of clothing for his command presented the opportunity I desired. The parties in the Yankee lines revealed to me the fact that bribery had to be used extensively to procure the passage of the goods and cotton through Vicksburg, and that the highest Federal officials there had been secured by this corrupt means.
Ascertaining thus that General McArthur, in command at Vicksburg, was an interested party, I therefore informed the contractors that in order to secure the prompt delivery and removal of their cotton and the goods that there must be no expedition by gun-boats up the Yazoo and no raids against the Central Railroad; that if either was permitted I should at once annul the contract, and that General McArthur might be so informed. These contractors reached Vicksburg two days since.
There were 1,000 cavalry and three regiments of mounted infantry in readiness to move, and it was publicly announced that they would start this morning. Information from Confederates in their lines