Send to Cairo as rapidly as possible all public and captured property not required for the service. Citizens may be permitted to pass up and down the river, but should be excluded as far as practicable from the post. I will order over here in a few days all but one regiment of your command.
U. S. GRANT,
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF WEST TENNESSEE,
Fort Henry, Tenn., March 7, 1862.
1. In pursuance of directions from headquarters Department of the Missouri, Major General C. F. Smith is assigned to the command of the expedition now about moving up the Tennessee River.
* * * * * * *
By order of Major General U. S. Grant, commanding:
JNumbers A. RAWLINS,
HEADQUARTERS EIGHTEENTH BRIGADE,
Piketon, Ky., March 7, 1862.
Captain J. B. FRY,
CAPTAIN: We have in a great measure recovered from the effects of the great flood in this valley, though the exposure it occasioned has largely increased our sick list. Since my arrival here I have sent out several scouting parties and opened communications with several men beyond the mountains, and am now able to report fully in regard to the situation of this part of Kentucky.
As my advance reached this place the remnant of Marshall's force left Whitesburg and passed hurriedly through the Pound Gap. I have captured a few stragglers, and deserters are daily coming in; but with the exception of here and there a band of robbers, which will be caught or dispersed in a few days, there is no enemy in Eastern Kentucky.
I am also able to give you full information of the position of Marshall's brigade; his cavalry force has gone to Blountsville, Tenn., and is in a very demoralized condition; their horses are nearly worthless. Colonel Trigg's Virginia regiment is encamped on Coffee Creek, in the vicinity of Lebanon, about 20 miles from Abingdon, Va. Colonel Moore's (Virginia) regiment is on Clinch River, 10 miles this side of Lebanon.
Colonel Williams' (Kentucky) regiment, which came down this valley 1,500 strong, is reduced to about 700, by battle, sickness, and deserters, and is on the southern border of Wise County, Virginia. About 20 miles beyond the Gap two whole companies, refusing to leave Kentucky, deserted and dispersed when the regiment passed through the Gap. At the same time the battery of artillery which was stationed at the Gap was removed to the vicinity of Abingdon. Another battery had already gone as far as Lebanon with Colonel Trigg.
There are still stationed at the Gap five companies of Virginia State Militia, under a Major Thompson. General Marshall and staff are at Gladesville, where he seems to have but little interest in the army and almost no control over it. He has lost a large number of his wagons,
2 R R-VOL X, PT II