War of the Rebellion: Serial 035 Page 0065 Chapter XXXV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,

Lake Providence, La., February 13, 1863.

Major General STEPHEN A. HURLBUT,

Commanding Sixteenth Army Corps, Memphis, Tenn.:

GENERAL: You will please revoke the order of General Hamilton to General Asboth, sending the Missouri troops from the District of Columbus back to the Department of the Missouri.

The request of General Asboth to have the garrisons of Forts Henry an Donelson relieved, is impracticable at this time.

Upon request, no doubt, the commanders of any of the gunboats in your command would co-operate in any expedition you may seem disposed to make up the Obion. The general commanding will request Admiral Porter to give the necessary instructions to his officers.

When troops are required from the District of Columbus, you will order forward the Illinois regiments.

Inclosed find dispatches from General Asboth, to which this is an answer.

By order of Major-General Grant:

JNO. A. RAWLINS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]

COLUMBUS, February 9, 1863.

ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL,

Department of the Tennessee:

The efficient battalion Fifteenth Regulars and three companies of the Tenth Missouri Cavalry were ordered from here, and Smith's battery from Paducah, to Memphis, with Forts Henry and Donelson. Two thousand troops were transferred to the Department of the Cumberland. General Curtis claims back all the Missouri troops now in my district, and I was ordered by General Hamilton to have them returned. On the other hand, it is reported officially that, besides the rebel bands on both sides the Obion River, Colonel [R. V.] Richardson, with 2,000 Confederate troops, has reached Huntington. Under these circumstances, I would respectfully request that the garrisons of Forts Henry and Donelson be relieved by troops from the Department of the Cumberland, and restored for duty in this district.

ASBOTH.

[Incloruse Numbers 2.]

COLUMBUS, February 9, 1863.

ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL,

Department of the Tennessee:

General Hamilton directed me, on the 3rd instant, to send the Third Minnesota to Memphis, as soon as the regiment should get arms. There are arms at Cairo, but without equipments, and it may take some time till the regiment can be properly armed. The present excitement and political intrigues in the State of Illinois make it advisable to have the Illinois regiments, especially the new ones, as distant from their homes as possible, to prevent desertion. From the One hundred and twenty-eighth Illinois, stationed at Cairo, more than 700 men deserted. I would, therefore, ask permission to send, in place of the Third Minnesota, which is without arms, one of the armed Illinois regiments.

ASBOTH,

Brigadier-General.

5 R R - VOL XXIII, PT II