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[176] with his cavalry was observing the enemy's movements, that Lieutenant-General Pemberton's active forces were at Edwards's Depot, and his headquarters at Bovina; that McPherson's corps had marched from Raymond to Clinton; and was thus interposed between the Army of Mississippi and ourselves, and but ten miles from us. General Maxey's brigade, he added, was expected to reach Jackson in the course of the next day, from Port Hudson. I had learned, on the way, that reenforcements were coming from General Beauregard's department, and that the foremost of them, under Brigadier-General Gist, might join us next day, and, with Maxey's brigade, would raise the force at Jackson to eleven or twelve thousand men.

Under the impression given me by General Pemberton's dispatch of the 12th, that the main body of General Grant's army was to the south of Edwards's Depot, I inferred that McPherson's corps had been detached to Clinton to hold the Confederate line of communication, and prevent the junction of reenforcements with the army. I therefore sent a note1 to that officer by Captain Yerger, who happened to be in Jackson and volunteered to bear it, informing him of the position of McPherson's corps between us at Clinton; urging the importance of reestablishing his communications, that reenforcements might join his army, and ordering, “if practicable come up on his rear at once. To beat such a detachment would be of immense value. The troops here could cooperate. All the force you can quickly assemble should be brought. Time is all-important.”

1 See the note in Appendix.

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