His Excellency President Davis has been here and read your report. He requested the general commanding to make known to you and your command his satisfaction and appreciation of your services. Horseshoes can be had at Rome.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEORGE WM. BRENT,
P. S.-The general directs that your order Colonel J. E. Forrest, commanding North Alabama, to have the Memphis and Charleston Railroad effectually torn up from the nearest point to the enemy.
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY IN MISSISSIPPI, McKinnan's Mills, Ala., October 14, 1863-10 a. m.
Major General JOSEPH WHEELER,
Commanding Cavalry Corps, Courtland, Ala.:
GENERAL: Your note of yesterday was received at 9 a. m. this morning. General Roddey must have left the Tennessee River on Saturday morning. The enemy were in Athens Sunday morning. With this start of Roddey and the enemy, I do not deem it prudent to cross the river with my force alone, considering your report of the strength of the enemy, confirmed by my own scouts. Should I cross alone now it will be risking my command without much prospect of helping General Roddey. By this time General Roddey has heard of your trip, and is either returning or is beyond any help I could render him. I will cross the river at any moment with you or with such a part of your force as will enable me to cope with the enemy. I consider General Roddey's position a critical one, but not knowing his route or his orders, I do not deem it prudent to cross at this late hour to go to his assistance. If any crossing is made to assist him it should be by our united force, as the risk is too great otherwise. I think it is a favorable moment to cross, as the Federal force is now much jaded and we could easily overpower them. I suggest that we cross to-morrow. We should act in concert. My move to this point was not in concert with your move.
I will await your reply before acting.
S. D. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS, Near Courtland, Ala., October 14, 1863-4 p. m.
Major General STEPHEN D. LEE,
Commanding Cavalry Corps:
GENERAL: Your letter of 10 a. m. is just received. I have not as yet heard anything from General Roddey or from General Bragg. I expect to hear from General Bragg every moment. I should have heard before this, and am disappointed at the delay. I sent to General Bragg asking him for two fresh brigades which were left with the army when I left on this last trip. I also sent, some days since, for all the stragglers which belong to this command, who were left with