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[558] was also of constant occurrence during the protracted expedition via the Yazoo Pass.

On the seventh of April I received a telegram from the President, inquiring as to the practicability of sending reinforcements to General Bragg, in Middle Tennessee, and directing me to send them if existing circumstances in the department would admit of it.

On the same day I informed the President by telegram, that in my judgment it was not safe to diminish the forces in this department at that time. On the ninth of April I telegraphed General S. Cooper, A. and I. G., as follows: “I am confident that few reinforcements, if any, have been sent to Rosecrans from Grant; no troops whatever are reported to have gone above the mouth of the Yazoo Pass. I endeavor to keep General Johnston advised of any movement which may affect his army. The enemy is constantly in motion in all directions; he appears now to be particulary engaged with Deer Creek, by land from Greenville. I have forces there to meet him. It is reported, but hot yet confirmed, that a movement under McClernand, in large force by land, is in progress west of the river and southward; I doubt it. My operations west of the Mississippi must greatly depend on the movement of the enemy's gunboats. I have several regiments now near New Carthage. I will inform you promptly of anything important, and if I ascertain that part of Grant's army is reinforcing Rosecrans, will dispatch troops to General Johnston as rapidly as possible.”

On the eleventh of April, I again telegraphed General Cooper, A. and I. G., and General J. E. Johnston, at Tullahoma, as follows: “A scout from Austin reports that forty transports, loaded down, but without troops, passed up the Mississippi River, on the third and fourth instant.” Brigadier-General Chalmers reports that “Ellett's marine brigade passed up the Mississippi on the seventh. The same evening, three gunboats and nineteen transports, loaded with troops, passed up — the last ten boats from Tallahatchie, twenty miles up Cold Water, on Wednesday, going up. I think that most of Grant's forces are being withdrawn to Memphis.”

On the same day I again telegraphed General Johnston as follows: “The following report just received: Scout Kemp reports: ‘Near Byhalia on the tenth; the enemy is strengthening his guard on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. Twelve thousand troops passed Memphis going up the river, on the seventh. The same day, fifty pieces of artillery were landed at Memphis, and taken to the Memphis and Charleston depot. Part of Grant's army reported to be going to Corinth, and down the Mobile and Ohio Railroad--the balance to reinforce Rosecrans.’ Lawson reports, near Memphis, tenth: ‘Marine brigade gone up Cumberland River; also, fourteen transports and two gunboats passed up the river on the night of the seventh. A corps of engineers reached Memphis from below.’ ” Acting on these and other corroborating reports, I said to General Johnston, in closing my dispatch: “I am collecting troops here, and can send you four thousand (4,000) at once, if absolutely necessary ;” and, accordingly, the brigades of Generals Tilghman, Rust, and Buford, were, on the thirteenth of April, placed under orders to move with dispatch to Tullahoma, while General Vaughn's brigade, of East Tennesseans, was ordered to be held in readiness to move at short notice. Major L. Mims, Chief Quartermaster, was instructed to furnish the necessary transportation as speedily as possible; and the following dispatch, dated April twelfth, was transmitted to General Johnston: “I will forward troops to you as fast as transportation can be furnished, about eight thousand men. Am satisfied Rosecrans will be reinforced from Grant's army. Shall I order troops to Tullahoma?” On the fifteenth April, statements made by persons just out of Memphis, of which I was notified by telegraph, indicated that the retrograde movement from Vicksburg was probably a ruse, and that an early attack might be expected on that place; and on the sixteenth, I telegraphed General Johnston thus: “I can send you only two brigades; the latest information induces the belief that no large part of Grant's army will be removed.” On the same day General Stevenson was directed to delay the movement of Vaughn's brigade; and on the seventeenth Major Mims, Chief Quartermaster, was instructed that no more troops would be forwarded in the direction of Tullahoma until further orders.

General Tilghman's was held in position between Jackson and the Big Black Bridge, and on the same day the following telegram was dispatched to General Cooper, A. and I. G.: “General Stevenson reports that eight boats attempted to pass Vicksburg last night; five succeeded in passing, one was burned and sunk, and two disabled. General Chalmers reports sixty-four steamers left Memphis on the fifteenth instant, loaded with troops and negroes, apparently with intention of making an assault on Vicksburg. The enemy has nine (9) boats between Vicksburg and Port Hudson. I cannot send any more troops, and think that those on the way to General Johnston should come back.”

General Bowen, at Grand Gulf was immediately advised of the passage of the boats referred to in the above dispatch, and instructed to withdraw his troops from the Louisiana shore, at the first favorable opportunity; he was also immediately reinforced by the Sixth Mississippi regiment and First Confederate battalion, and a field battery. On the same day the following telegram was dispatched to General Johnston. “The troops sent you were taken from Port Hudson; a brigade under Brigadier-General Buford, aggregate present four thousand and sixty-five. The enemy has nine boats between Vicksburg and Port Hudson. He has land forces at New Carthage, from Grant's army, and can reinforce them to any extent; he can use his nine boats to cross his troops to this ”

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