I shall expect such force to be returned to my side of the Mississippi the moment General Grant gets his own force in available position. I must also assure you that I am exposing my department and weakening all my efforts by thus sending force to sustain the east side, and I trust the officers of the Department of the Tennessee will appreciate the necessity of an early co-operation with me, if danger appears on my side of the common artery of the West.
I am, general, very truly, yours,
SAML. R. CURTIS,
SAINT LOUIS, December 28, 1762.
General DAVIES, Columbus:
General Halleck wants me to strengthen Memphis. If you can spare my last shipment of troops let them go to Memphis. I trust you will not move the troops interior so as to get them away from the river. They may be needed on this side, and the river is my whole dependence to supply Helena.
SAML. R. CURTIS,
COLUMBUS, KY., December 28, 1862-10 a. m.
(Received 5 p. m.)
Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief:
I have just received a telegram from Fort Henry that Colonel William W. Lowe, who was sent by General Grant to attack Forrest, has just returned. Reports that he went up as far as Lexington, and finding that General Dodge was following Forrest he returned to Forty Henry, dispersing on his way back Nepier's band and destroying some property. With his return to Forty Henry I consider Forts Donelson, Henry, and Heiman, which were assigned to my command, measurably secure. Paducah is still weak for the want of a regiment or two. I telegraphed to Paducah to stop a regiment if any came down the Ohio. Columbus I consider out of all danger. Hickman has been evacuated, there having been only 150 men there. Island Numbers 10 has been rendered useless in case of capture. New Madrid will be evacuated to-night and the useless heavy armament there destroyed. The troops will re-enforce Fort Pillow. I hope Fort Pillow will b strong enough to stand with the re-enforcements. I have learned from reliable sources that their plans of operations have not ben so much directed toward the railroad as to gain possession of Island Numbers 10. They fired upon the Duke at Hickman yesterday morning, but he gunboat New Era, which I sent there in anticipation of the movement, hove in sight just as they fired, and the rebels ran fact as she came up. they endeavored yesterday to mount two 64-pounders, condemned guns, at Hickman, but I sent down a regiment just as they got one of the carriages in position to throw the guns into the river and burn the carriages, which they did, and returned immediately here. There is no communication with General Grant.
THOS. A. DAVIES,