Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/609

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He had put one division on Deer creek, just above Lake Washington, to cut off Confederate supplies in that direction.

Rosecrans and Bragg were assuming hostile attitudes in Middle Tennessee, and Grant and Pemberton were both being called upon for help. A movement of transports on the Mississippi led to a rumor that Grant was about to abandon his campaign and transfer his army, part to Corinth and part to reinforce Rosecrans; and under the influence of these reports Pemberton, on April 13th, put the brigades of Tilghman, Rust and Buford under orders to march to Tullahoma with all dispatch, and Vaughn's brigade was held in readiness.

But the Federals were steadily pushing on through the Louisiana bayous to turn the left flank of the Vicksburg line. General Osterhaus, of the Federal army, made a reconnoissance by boat to New Carthage, through the bayous, early in April, with 54 men and a howitzer; had a skirmish with Bowen's outposts, and from the Louisiana shore gazed upon the plantations of Joseph and Jefferson Davis, which he reported as "a very tempting view." On April 2d, McClernand occupied Richmond, La., and during the following two weeks moved part of his corps to New Carthage, skirmishing as he advanced with the force which Bowen had thrown across the river under Col. Francis M. Cockrell. On April 8th, Bowen telegraphed Pemberton, asking if he should cross the river with his entire command in case the rumors of the heavy advance of Federals in Tensas Parish proved true, and fight them. To this Pemberton, still deceived by the demonstrations on the Yazoo and the movements of boats to and from Memphis, replied that he did not consider the advance of the Federals in that quarter of such importance as to justify Bowen running the risk of being cut off by the Federal fleet.

On the 15th, Cockrell made a considerable demonstration against McClernand at James’ plantation, and dis-