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[172] turned into the road to Edwards's Depot, however, while the Seventeenth kept that to Jackson, followed at an interval of a few miles by the Thirteenth.

On the 5th, as Lieutenant-General Pemberton's dispatches subsequent to that of the 1st had contained no reference to the movements of the Federal army, nor to the result of the battle near Port Gibson, I asked him to give me information on the two points. His reply, written on the 6th or 7th, contained no allusion to General Grant's forces, but gave his own positions, in cipher, so that they were imperfectly understood. He informed me, however, that General Bowen had been driven from the field with a loss of six or seven hundred men. I was thus left uncertain whether or not any but a detachment of the Federal forces had crossed the Mississippi.

On the 9th, in the evening, I received, at Tullahoma, the following dispatch of that date from the Secretary of War:

Proceed at once to Mississippi and take chief command of the forces there, giving to those in the field, as far as practicable, the encouragement and benefit of your personal direction. Arrange to take for temporary service with you, or to be followed without delay, three thousand good troops who will be substituted in General Bragg's army by a large number of prisoners returned from the Arkansas Post capture, and reorganized, now on their way to General Pemberton. Stop them at the point most convenient to General Bragg.

You will find reenforcements from General Beauregard to General Pemberton, and more may be expected.

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