day, is to fall back on Pitman's Ferry, if he thinks that the better line for the security of his command and of the interests of the campaign, and unite with the forces left there by General hardee. If he cannot accomplish that from the point at which he is (Bloomfield), then he must pass out to the plank road, and if the is pursued and cannot make successful resistance, to cross the river and join his forces to those at Island Numbers 10 until we can get aid from below. That is the best disposition he can make of his force, should he be pursued by the enemy, as he may be. So long as we hold this point the enemy is powerless to do mischief by attempting to cross troops below this point with boats. I am hurrying the regiments from Arkansas now in and near Memphis to get them ready for the field, but the reparation of arms bodes on slowly.
I will keep you advised of the progress of events.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, WESTERN DEPARTMENT,
Columbus, Ky., October 25, 1861.
Colonel SOLON BORLAND:
SIR: A dispatch from General Thompson of 23rd informs me that the enemy in force, as he is informed, to the number of 5,000, were following him in his retreat to Pitman's Ferry from Greenville. I inferred from his letter that he did not intend falling back on Pitman's Ferry, but would pass across the swamp to Bloomfield, and then to the river by way of the plank road. He will no doubt have informed you of his and the enemy's movements.
My object in this note is to say that I think you should remove the stores you have at your command down the river and beyond the reach of the enemy, as far as you have means of doing so. The powder and other ammunition especially you will take care to have removed. My advice is that you send all not necessary for your wants and that of any command likely to operate with you there round by water to Memphis. The same with the other stores.
You have no doubt considered all the contingencies that might happen and have discussed them with General Hardee, and are prepared to make such dispositions as he may have advised and as you shall think expedient, but I have thought it best ot send to you a courier stating such facts as I have mentioned above of the enemy and to advise as to the safety of the stores under your charge.
I have thought it best and safest to send two small steamers from all the circumstances it would be safe to retain in that part of the State; the rest send to Memphis. If you have boats in the river, take possession of them for the service of the Government for the purpose above stated.
I do not know the amount of force you have at your disposal or can command, but take it for granted you have not enough to enable you to resist for any long time the amount of force General Thompson says was in motion.
I am mainly concerned for the stores that are with you, and have no