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[166] the belief that no large part of Grant's army would be sent away. For that reason he thought it proper to transfer then but two brigades from his army to that of Tennessee. His dispatches, of the 17th, gave intelligence of the return of the Federal army1 to its former position, and resumption of its operations against Vicksburg. He also reported that a body of Federal troops occupied New Carthage, and that there were nine gun-boats, of the two Federal fleets, between Port Hudson and Vicksburg.

In consequence of this information, the two brigades of infantry, under General Buford, on the way from Mississippi to Tennessee, were ordered to return.

The only activity apparent in either of the principal armies, before the end of March, was exhibited by that of General Grant, in its efforts to open a way by water around Vicksburg, to some point on the river, below the town. But in the beginning of April this enterprise was abandoned, and General Grant decided that his troops should march to a point selected, on the west bank of the Mississippi, and that the vessels-of-war and transports should run down to that point, passing the Confederate batteries at night. McClernand's corps (Thirteenth) led in the march, followed, at some distance, by McPherson's (Seventeenth).

About the middle of the month a Federal detachment of five regiments of cavalry, and two of infantry, with two field-batteries, moved from Corinth along the railroad towards Tuscumbia. Colonel Roddy,

1 Probably Sherman's corps, left to divert General Pemberton's attention from the movement towards Grand Gulf.

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