War of the Rebellion: Serial 025 Page 0504 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

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artillery you will send to Memphis, Tenn.; the quartermaster's department at Memphis will furnish you the necessary transportation. The cavalry should report here as soon as practicable.



HOLLY SPRINGS, MISS., December 28, 1862.

Brigadier General I. F. QUINBY,

Commanding Seventh Division:

Fearing that damages to the railroad north to Columbus will take several weeks to repair, I have directed the opening of the Memphis road. Investigation shows that but little damage has been done it at Moscow, and consequently cars can be run in a day or two at least as far as La Fayette, 21 miles west of Grant Junction. The roads from Memphis to that point are good. I have directed, therefore, that cars be got as far west as practicable to meet you on your return, and have also sent troops to guard the road to La Fayette, and I think for some miles farther west. You will then return by the State Line road until you meet the cars, and then in the absence of further orders dispose of your troops to guard the road westward as the work progresses. We may find it necessary to send the wagons back to get a second load of supplies. This will depend, however, on the extent of damages to be repaired, both on the road north and the Memphis road. I have no idea of keeping open the Memphis road except for temporary purposes. It may become necessary, however, to send more troops to Vicksburg. In that even the road will be very convenient.




Columbus, Ky., December 29, 1862.

Major General SAMUEL R. CURTIS,

Commanding Department Missouri:

GENERAL: I have the honor to report the forces from your department now on duty temporarily at this post as in good fighting condition and ready for action at the tap of the drum. Your prompt response to the call for aid from threatened Columbus must ever be regarded by the War Department as a very commendable instance of military courtesy.

From all the reports I can gather from deserters, intelligent contrabands, and reliable gentlemen I conclude that the brigand Forrest, with about 8,000 mounted rebels with eight pieces of artillery, undertook a raid on a large scale upon the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, his intention being the destruction of the railroad and the immense stock of supplies on hand here, together with cars, engines, public buildings, steamers, &c., and then fall back toward Memphis and La Grange. He was rapidly accomplishing his purpose when re-enforcements began to arrive from Saint Louis. His bands are now scattering, he in the mean time holding his headquarters at a point about 10 miles distant, where he is throwing up fortifications. I have been begging General Davies to let me take 4,000 men and go out there and whip him (Forrest), but the general will not allow the movement, is quite nervous about the post, but I am fully convinced we could defeat or skedaddle the entire rebel horde. I know I am a young general, but I believe I am old enough to see through a mill-stone with so large a hole in it. Unless I am much