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‘ [178] instructions to harass the enemy's transportation of supplies and troops.’ From Col. Colton Greene, June 17th: ‘It is estimated that over 40,000 men went down to Vicksburg during the past ten days, consisting of Burnside's troops from Kentucky, and Herron's division from Missouri.’ From the express agent, June 18th: ‘Yesterday five boats passed down with troops. The boats going up this evening are either hospitals or empty. There is more activity to-day than usual. No gunboats have passed. On all transports, I am told, are one or two pieces of artillery; very few troops visible. What fine service for a regiment of cavalry, with a battery, or even a section of artillery. We could render-our hard-pressed friends at Vicksburg great service.’ From the same, June 21st: ‘Seven passed up last night. The steamer Dove went down last night, came up to-day, with one piece of artillery and the horses harnessed. They reported heavy fighting at Vicksburg. Dobbin and Gary (cavalry) within 12 miles of Helena.’

As to the advance of his troops on Helena, Holmes was hourly in receipt of dispatches. From General Price, June 27th: ‘Crossed Cache river with my cavalry, on Thursday morning. . . . The infantry, in consequence of the rapid rise of Cache river, was unable to finish the crossing of that stream with their trains before 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon, having fasted from daybreak of the previous day. I had meanwhile caused Bayou de View to be bridged, and the bottom on each side of it to be causewayed, as also Caney creek. But the very heavy rains of yesterday and last night raised both the bayou and the creek so as to sweep away the bridges and render the bottoms utterly impassable.’ From General Marmaduke, June 28th, on Flat creek bayou: ‘Reached this point this morning and find the bayou here a quarter of a mile wide, 50 yards of which is swimming water.’ From Maj. Thomas L. Snead, Price's adjutant-general: ‘Parsons and McRae have encountered greater difficulties ’

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