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
started out, April 17th, with 1,700 cavalrymen, demonstrations being made all along the Federal
line from Corinth
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.
'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
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.