NP, MM 12/21/1862

From the Montgomery Mail
December 21, 1862
Important News
   We clip the following important bit of intelligence from the Mobile Register & Advertiser of the 18th:
   We learn from Capt. J. R. Brown, of the Pioneer Express Company, that Monday afternoon, as the train {of the Mobile & Ohio RR} was about leaving Shannon Station, 7 3/4 miles above Okalona, a dash was made upon that point by about five hundred Yankee cavalry, from the direction of Pontetoc, which place, it was ascertained, had been occupied by a strong force at 11 o'clock in the morning. The train was started and escaped, notwithstanding the efforts to stop or cripple it by firing into it. The fire was returned by one man with a piston, and one of the enemy was wounded.
   At Coonewah bridge, two miles above Okalona, steam having given out, the passengers were transferred to two cars -- the others, three in number, being left behind. The intelligence being communicated to Col. Barteau, at Okalona, he ordered his own command and another small force under arms, emphatically declaring that he would stop them.
   This force amounted to about 750 men. He also dispatched a scout to Major Harris, in command of a small force near Saltillo, to join him. Saltillo was occupied at 3 o'clock the same morning by a force reported to be 9,000.
   The object of this move is, of course, to cut off the railroad, and to distract Gen. Pemberton, as well as to waste the country and obtain cotton, of which there is a great amount in North Mississippi, which, with the fatuity that possesses our people everywhere in front of the enemy -- and we must add our Government -- has not been destroyed. The corn, which is abundant in that region, and for which the planters have been refusing a dollar a bushel, the Yankees will now get for nothing.
   We omitted to state that the up train was stopped at West Point Monday night, the down train leaving at 8 o'clock -- two hours before time -- in order to meet it there. The telegraph line has been down, which prevented the news of this affair from coming through sooner.