War of the Rebellion: Serial 035 Page 0051 Chapter XXXV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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the river, at points between Memphis and Columbus. I have already unspiked and remounted eight guns at Island Numbers 10, placing the island once more in proper defense. I have also made all preparations for the shipment down the Mississippi of seventy-two spiked guns, carriages, and other valuable ordnance stores on the island, some of which have already reached Memphis. The only available artillery at Fort Pillow consists of one 18 and 3 pounder. I intended to strengthen Fort Pillow with some light artillery, to enable the garrison to break up and capture Colonel Richardson's and Dawson's camp of from 1,000 to 1,300 men, near Covington. Being under the impression that the orders of the general commanding department alluded only to dismounted heavy guns strewn over the various posts, I hope that these, my arrangements, may not be in conflict with his above order. Anxious, however, to comply fully with superior orders, I would respectfully ask your instructions in the matter for my guidance. To secure the safe navigation of the Mississippi, I consider it most important to hold strongly not only Island Numbers 10 and Fort Pillow, but garrison also Hickman.

ASBOTH,

Brigadier-General.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF COLUMBUS,

February 8, 1863 - 6.50 p. m.

Major-General HURLBUT,

Commanding Sixteenth Army Corps, Memphis, Tenn.:

By orders from Washington, of the 23rd of January, Forts Henry and Donelson were transferred to the Department of the Cumberland. I informed the respective commanders accordingly. Urging the returns from Fort Heiman, Colonel Lowe telegraphed yesterday that he considers Fort Heiman also a part of the Department of the Cumberland. Giving him proper explanations, I directed Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick, the commander of Fort Heiman, to forward his returns at once directly to these headquarters. To-day, however, Colonel Lowe again telegraphs that, in accordance with orders from General Rosecrans, Fort Heiman forms an appendage to Fort Henry, and will be assigned to the Department of the Cumberland. My only available cavalry force, ten companies Fifth Iowa Cavalry, and the only light battery, Second Illinois Artillery, form part of the garrison of Heiman. Deprived of the fort and its garrison, the District of Columbus is crippled, and the vast country lying this side of the Tennessee River, and comprising Marshall, Calloway, and Graves Counties, remains uncontrolled by Union forces.

I was ordered to send three companies of cavalry to Memphis. Only two companies are left here. I cannot properly scout the country and feel the enemy's movements. I would, therefore, request that proper steps be taken to prevent any decisive order depriving the Department of the Tennessee of Fort Heiman, and that Major-General Rosecrans be requested to direct Colonel Lowe, commanding at Fort Henry, not to interfere with the garrison of Fort Heiman, as it is at present undoubtedly out of his jurisdiction.

ASBOTH,

Brigadier-General.

[FEBRUARY 8, 1863. - For General Orders, Numbers 14, of this date, from Headquarters Department of the Cumberland, see Series II.]