War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0549 Chapter XXIX. FORREST'S EXPEDITION INTO W. TENN.

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under the threatening aspect I ordered the guns dismantled and spiked with soft iron and the secesh powder there thrown into the river. The remaining ammunition I had brought to Columbus.

From reports of the movements of Jeff. Thompson and Jeffers on the Missouri shore against New Madrid I consulted Generals Tuttle and Fisk, who were here, as to the propriety of evacuating New Madrid and re-enforcing Fort Pillow and placing the armament there in such a position as to be useless in case of capture. We all agreed to the suggestion, and it was accordingly done. In the then position of our army below, without coal or supplies, I considered that no possible chance should be run of the enemy getting possession of either of these two points with the armament and ammunition. They are of no value to us, and only a bait for attack and threatening danger if allowed to remain intact.

Forrest did not destroy the railroad this side of Union City, from which I concluded he wished me to send out force in detail to that point. I did send 1,500 troops there, but immediately withdrew them under what I considered the spirit of General Halleck's instructions. I kept Forrest, however, for several days under the impression that I was going to give him battle outside, by the movement of trains and circulating reports. He has been richly paid for his temerity and boldness.

There has been no damage done in this district nor railroad running-gear injured. A heavy construction train was set at work as early as possible, and the road will be in running order probably by January 15.

I am, very respectfully,


Brigadier-General, Commanding District of Columbus.


Assistant Adjutant-General.

Numbers 2.

Reports of Brigadier General Grenville M. Dodge, U. S. Army, commanding District of Corinth, of operations December 18-24, 1862, and skirmish near Clifton, January 1, 1863.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CORINTH, Corinth, Miss., December 29, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the report of the expedition that left this place in pursuit of rebel forces under Forrest:

My troops consisted of First Brigade, Colonel T. W. Sweeny, composed of the Second and Seventh Iowa and Fifty-second Illinois; and Third Brigade, Colonel M. M. Bane, Fiftieth Illinois, composed of Seventh, Fiftieth, and Fifty-seventh Illinois Infantry; two batteries of the First Missouri Light Artillery, under command of Major George H. Stone; the Fifth Ohio, and Stewart's and Hurst's cavalry, about 250 strong, left Corinth Thursday at midnight, reaching Purdy at noon next day, where we were joined by one section of First Missouri Light Artillery under command of Lieutenant Green, and Forty-eighth Illinois Infantry under command of Colonel Sanford. Continuing the march we encamped at Sweet Lip Creek.

During the day heard the firing near Jackson, and receiving various conflicting reports of the position and strength of the enemy, and also that the enemy in some force was marching from Clifton to the aid of