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[560] which town the enemy advanced and demanded its surrender; but Major-General Loring having reached there with a sufficient force of infantry in time, their object was frustrated. The enemy had previously succeeded in destroying several miles of the track of the Southern Railroad west of Chunky River, which for more than a week greatly delayed the transportation of troops, and entirely prevented that of supplies (except by wagons) from our depots on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad.

To meet these raids, as far as possible, Major-General Loring was placed in command of all the troops then on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad; he was directed not to leave the line of the road for any great distance; to keep in telegraphic communication with me, and constantly to advise me of his position; and that, operations on that line being minor in importance to those upon the Mississippi River, his troops must be so disposed as to enable him to move them in that direction at a moment's notice. The same day the following communication was addressed to General Johnston at Tullahoma: “Heavy raids are making from Tennessee deep into this State; one is reported now at Starkville, thirty (30) miles west of Columbus. Cavalry is indispensable to meet these expeditions; the little I have is in the field there, but totally inadequate. Could you not make a demonstration with a cavalry force on their rear?”

Another expedition having been reported moving across the country in a south-westerly direction from Pontotoc, Brigadier-General Featherston, then commanding Fort Pemberton, on the Yazoo, was ordered to move without delay toward Duck Hill, or Winona, and General Tilghman, then at Canton, was directed to hold trains in readiness to move to Winona at a moment's notice. This became more necessary as a heavy column of infantry, as well as cavalry, was reported moving from Memphis, with the supposed view of taking possession of Grenada. The same day the following communication was telegraphed to General Cooper, A and I. G.: “I have so little cavalry that I am compelled to direct a portion of my infantry to meet raids in Northern Mississippi. If any troops can possibly be spared from other departments I think they should be sent here.” Every effort was made by me to provide cavalry to arrest Grierson's raid, also to accumulate a force for operations in the direction of Warrenton, and Grand Gulf.

Thinking it quite as probable that Grierson would return by the route on which he was advancing as that he would continue his progress southward, on the twenty-fourth Brigadier-General Chalmers, at Panola, was directed to move with all his cavalry and light artillery, via Oxford, to Okolona, to intercept the force of the enemy then at Newton Station, on the Southern Railroad. Captain Henderson, commanding special scouts at Grenada, was also instructed to send couriers to Generals Loring, Buford, and Ruggles, notifying those officers by telegrams from the nearest telegraph office, and advising each station on the road that the enemy had reached Newton, on the Southern road.

A force was also ordered to proceed from Jackson to Forrest or Lake Station, or to such other points as circumstances might render necessary. Major-General Gardner, at Port Hudson, was notified that the enemy had reached the Southern Railroad; that it was probable he would endeavor to form a junction with Banks at Baton Rouge, and was instructed to send all his disposable cavalry to intercept him. Brigadier-General Featherstone, with his brigade, then at, or en route for, Winona, was ordered to move to Grenada, if there was any approach of the enemy (as was reported) from the north on that place, unless he was also threatened by an advance from the east. As it was possible that Grierson's forces might return by Jackson, such arrangements as my means allowed were made to defend the capital of the State. Brigadier-General Tilghman, then at Canton, was authorized to mount one of his regiments at that place, by the impressment of horses, or otherwise, and immediate steps were taken to mount the Twentieth Mississippi and a detachment of the Fourteenth Mississippi, both of these regiments being at the time on duty in Jackson. Similar authority was given to General Loring, then on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, to mount what force he could on that line. In the impressment of horses and their necessary equipments, Major L. Mims, Chief Quartermaster, was materially aided by his Excellency the Governor of Mississippi, who was also earnestly advised to mount, by the same process, a portion of the the State troops in Northern Mississippi.

All the cavalry I could thus collect south of the Southern Railroad was placed under the orders of Colonel R. V. Richardson, until he should fall in with Colonel Wirt Adams, who was then directed to assume command and direct the movements of the whole. On the twenty-eighth, it was ascertained that Grierson was continuing his movement south of Hazle-hurst, and not towards Grand Gulf, or the Big Black Bridge. Colonel Adams was directed to follow him up and ambuscade him if posssible. These instructions were carried out as far as practicable, and resulted in a smart skirmish near Union Church ; Colonel Adams' force, however, was too weak to effect anything important. Grierson, after suffering considerable loss, by an ambuscade further south, which was well planned and executed by a cavalry force from Major-General Gardner's command, eventually succeeded in joining General Banks' army at Baton Rouge.

I have been thus circumstantial in reciting the incidents connected with this celebrated raid, that I might clearly demonstrate the great deficiency, I may almost say the absence of cavalry in my department, and the absolute impossibility of protecting my communications, depots, and even my most vital positions without

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