War of the Rebellion: Serial 104 Page 0253 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.- UNION.

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in Kemper Couty, but Mr. Martin did not know the result. They are excepting a movement of troops from Vicksburg, and wish our forces to occupy and protect the country. These men belong to the class of respectable farmers. Jackson's division, of Forrest's corps, embraces Armstrong's and the remnants of Ross' brigades. Armstrong's brigade is the largest in the corps, including the regiments two of which are the Second and Twenty-eighth Mississippi Cavalry, but it numbers not more than 1,000 men. Starke's, Mabry's, and Wirt Adams' brigades are identical. The rebels are recruiting negro troops at Enterprise, Miss., and the negroes are all enrolled in the State. Forrest's entire force is estimated by informant at not more than 4,000 effective men. It is much smaller than when he left Tennessee, on account of constant desertions. The State troops nearly all returned home. No manufactures are carried on in the State, all machinery having been removed. A deserter who left Marshall, Tex., six weeks ago and came through Shreveport and Monroe, La., states that there were only about 600 men at the former and 200 at the latter place. There were some fortification at Marshall, and negroes were at work building more. A deserter from the Third Louisiana Infantry, from Shreveport, La., March 16, reported that he met Churchill's division, only 1,800 strong, going into Shreveport, and learned that they were excepting to go to Huntsville, Tex. A considerable number of troops have been moved to Huntsville, Tex., in anticipation of an attack on the coast. This confirms the previous report which came through Collins, the rebel scout, that General Parsons with this division was going to Texas, and the report some time since that Parsons' division was under orders to march from Camdem, Ark., to Shreveport. The steamer Rob Roy and three others were at Monroe, La., loading with cotton. A refugee from Selma, Ala., March 22, states that Forrest was at Montevallo, fifty miles above Selma, on the Alabama and Tennessee Railroad, with 5,00 men. There were 5,000 militia at Montgomery and the same number garrisoning Selma. The informant thinks that with militia and scattered detachments Forrest can raise 20,000 men. His duty is to watch the expedition from Eastport, Tenn., [Miss.], which is known to be on the point of starting. If he is unable to check it, his orders are to fall back and concentrate everything at Selma, which is to be held at all hazards. The general impression is that Mobile will be be evacuated and the garrison retreat to Selma and join Forrest. They are moving much of the machinery from Selma to Columbus, Ga. Deserters from Richmond, March 8, report 150 miles of railroad destroyed by Sherman still unrepaired. These men confirm the statements of the refugee from Selma in regard to Forrest and the militia of Selma and Montgomery. A report from Lieutenant Fyffe, Thibodeaux, the 6th instant, states that desertions from Buckner's command are increasing. They estimate Buckner's forces around Alexandria and Natchitoches at 6,000. They are fortifying the right bank of the Red River three miles to Alexandria. Two of the forts are completed and mount ten guns each, the largest being 18-pounders. Ammunition is scarce, but they are well armed with Enfield rifles.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major, Tenth U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery.

(In absence of Captain S. M. Eaton, chief signal officer, Military Division of West Mississippi.)