War of the Rebellion: Serial 025 Page 0260 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

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tion of affairs here, and will now only repeat, that you may have a full view of our situation.

Morgan L. Smith's brigade is encamped on the outskirts, about 2 1/2 miles from the Courth Square (Jackson monument). Three regiments of infantry on the State Line road, one near the bridge over Wolf Creek, and another on thee Hernando road. With this brigade I have two good field batteries. I give him daily a detail of 50 cavalry to picket all approaches. I review these troops every Sunday afternoon, and think them as well instructed as any troops in service. They are full of confidence, and only need filling up with recruits to make a Numbers 1 brigade.

Denver's brigade-four Ohio regiments-occupies the right or south half of the fort, in tents, with posts assigned at the parapet for each company.

McDowell's brigade-three regiments-are in the left or north half of the entrenchments, in tents, with posts fixed. You will remember that out of this brigade, by your order, I detached the Seventy-seventh Ohio to Alton to secure the battalion of the Thirteenth Regulars. I have written again to General Wright on this subject, and hope you too will not forget that I am justly entitled to that battalion. Now that the Cincinnati stampede is passed there can be no just reason why it should not be sent me at once. It is needed to complete this brigade. In the fort I have four field batteries with platforms and embrasures, but the horses are kept in fine order, drills kept up, and they are ready at an hour's call for service.

The fixed batteries-24-pounders, 32-pounders, and 8-inch howitzers-twenty-two in number, are mounted, four on the large mound, three on the small, five on the north battery, and remainder at the salients. I have four infantry companies detailed and instructed to handle these guns, and they have painted the guns and carriages, piled the shot and shell, and are now riveting with brick the breast-height. On the whole the fort (Pickering) is ready for battle. Much work yet remains to be done, but the lines are ready for defense.

I have embraced in the fort an immense cotton-shed, which furnishes fine storage to provisions, forage, camp and garrison equipage, and all things needful for a siege, and I have all my division staff in the lines. I occupy a house just across the street.

A new magazine is substantially done. Two powder-houses under the bluff are full of ammunition, and I have converted an old brewery into an ordnance shop for the repair of arms, by which we can save all broken muskets, &c. Two good roads are finished to the water within the fort, so that steamboats can land our stores there. The brush to the south of the fort is cut down to the extent of a mile. I would like much to show you the amount of work done and its adaption to public wants, and feel satisfied that you will agree with me that Memphis is now the best base of operations on the Mississippi. The citizens who used to talk of our being expelled have ceased to think so. They know we are going to stay.

The civil government also works well now, and the people begin to realize that the Northwest intends to fight till the death for the Mississippi River. This is my hobby, and I know you pardon me when I say that I am daily more and more convinced that we should hold the river absolutely and leave the interior alone. Detachments inland can always be overcome or are at great hazard, and they do not convert the people. They cannot be made to love us, but may be made to fear us, and dread the passage of troops through their country. With the Mississippi safe we could land troops at any point, and by a quick march break the