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On the night of April 22d, six more gunboats and a lot of barges ran past Vicksburg to New Carthage. While these ominous preparations were being made, Confederate forces in the interior of the State were held back from the threatened points by General Grierson's raid from La Grange, Tenn., through the entire length of Mississippi to Baton Rouge. Grierson started out, April 17th, with 1,700 cavalrymen, demonstrations being made all along the Federal line from Corinth to Memphis to conceal the purpose of the expedition. There was no adequate cavalry command to meet Grierson, and the infantry which sought to intercept him was of necessity too slow in motion. Van Dorn's cavalry corps was with Bragg, and the various cavalry companies in Mississippi were mostly scattered. As it was, however, Grierson was compelled to make his trip with such celerity that he did not find time to do much damage. After sending a detachment which skirmished at New Albany, he reached Pontotoc, where he burned a mill. He then sent back about 200 men with some prisoners captured at New Albany and went on south to the road leading to Columbus, where he detached about 500 men under Col. Edward Hatch to strike the railroad at West Point, raid southward to Macon, if possible, and on his return to take Columbus and destroy the government works.

This extensive program Hatch soon found impracticable. On reaching Palo Alto a few hours later, he was attacked by Col. C. R. Barteau, with the Second Tennessee battalion and the commands of Col. J. F. Smith, Maj. W. M. Inge and Capt. T. W. Ham, and was so roughly handled that at night he started back toward Okolona. Barteau made a vigorous pursuit, but was unable to come up with Hatch until near Birmingham, when he attacked and drove the Federals across Camp creek after a fight of about two hours. They burned the bridge behind them, and Barteau's ammunition being exhausted he gave up the pursuit. Grierson was given

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