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No. 4.-reports of Maj. Gen. Brawton Bragg, C. S. Army.

Bethel Station, March 14, 1862-11.30 p. m.
Colonel: After much delay, mostly unnecessary, from inefficient railroad management, I have just reached here. General Gladden is at Purdy, with his two regiments and a battery and a small force of cavr alry. A report from him to General Ruggles has just been read by me [No. 5]. It seems the enemy's force landed in this vicinity has been greatly exaggerated, the general estimating it, from the most reliable information he can procure from the people of the country, at about 5,000. They advanced to within 5 miles of Purdy and hastily retired last night to their boats, the road from here to Purdy being almost impracticable, and from there to the river nearly in the same condition from the rains yesterday and to-day. No large force can be passed over them now. Under these circumstances (a change of plan on the part of the enemy) I have sent to General Ruggles to suspend his movements, he being still at Corinth, and to send General Chalmers back to Iuka, which is the most assailable point on the road. I would also advise a suspension of the movement of General Polk's command, stopping at Jackson such portion as may reach there. We can only await further movements and act accordingly. The damaged bridge is repaired, and strong guards will be stationed at all dangerous points.

I shall remain here for the present, and have the country examined thoroughly whilst the organization of my force is carried on; as far at least as can be done under the circumstances around me.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant

Braxton Bragg, Major-General, &c. Col. Thomas Jordan, Assistant Adjutant-General, Jackson, Tenn.

Hdqrs. Second Grand Div. Army of the Mississippi, Bethel, Tenn., March 15, 1862-11 a. m.
Colonel: Dispatches for General Ruggles from General Gladden, now at Purdy, have just reached here. They represent the enemy to [12] have re-embarked, and all indications point to a demonstration at some point higher up the river. From its position with reference to the railroad and the facility with which that could be reached from that point my attention will be turned there. Should more definite or reliable information reach me, I shall move to correspond. It is to be hoped General Johnston is approaching from the other direction, as it is entirely in the power of the enemy to cut the road at pleasure. Our task is a most difficult one, especially with the mob we have, miscalled soldiers. I have suspended any further movements from Corinth this way, and have sent General Chalmers back to Iuka, holding all in hand for a move in any direction.

The country is apparently flooded from recent rains, and the country people say no force of any size could now move on this point from Pittsburg or its vicinity. Captain Jordan is now out to determine this point. On the contrary, it is said no condition of water would prevent a march from Eastport to Iuka.

My whole force is up from Mobile except two small regiments, ordered by the War Department to hold Pensacola.

Let me hear from you, and give me the general's views fully in regard to the future. The New Madrid move still holds a place in my mind.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Braxton Bragg, Major-General, Commanding. Colonel Jordan, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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Daniel Ruggles (3)
Thomas Jordan (3)
Adley H. Gladden (2)
James R. Chalmers (2)
Braxton Bragg (2)
Leonidas Polk (1)
A. Sidney Johnston (1)
Brawton Bragg (1)
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