falling back, he would have an ample force at command to protect securely his communications, and would undoubtedly use it for this purpose. It would then be too late for the expedition proposed by Colonel Streight to be attempted; there would not be the slightest hope of its success. But could the enemy's communications be seriously cut before he might be forced to fall back, being thereby deprived of his supplies, his retreat might reasonably be expected to result in the disorganization and ruin of his army as an organized military force, from the sheer necessity of breaking into small bodies to obtain subsistence.
For these reasons, I repeat I would most respectfully urge that if Colonel Streight's expedition is to be undertaken at all, it should entirely precede any forward movement of this army, and that before any such movement of this army takes place, ample time be allowed for the accomplishment of the objects of Colonel Streight's mission.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
TH. J. WOOD,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.
[P. S.]-This communication was prepared before I knew that the commanding general had decided to send Colonel Streight; but as the points I seek to make in it are now more important than ever, I respectfully submit it for the consideration of the commanding general.
HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Memphis, Tenn., April 6, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel JOHN A. RAWLINS,
SIR: The dash on our front here has proved to be solely a cavalry irregular movement.
I inclose copy of messages from Generals Rosecrans and Dodge, which indicate an important movement not only for his corps, but necessarily for this force. If this movement goes on, it will materially aid my contemplated cavalry dash on the railroad below, for it will draw off their cavalry force into Alabama, and leave my field clear. They draw now most of their supplies from Noxubee and the neighboring counties in Mississippi.
The line of this corps is now well maintained, and the troops in good order and fine spirits. Horses now are the only things I require to be ready for a movement.
This cavalry dash I desire to time so as to co-operate with what I suppose to be your plan, to land below Vicksburg, on south side of Black River, silencing the Grand Gulf batteries. By cutting the road, I shall, as I think, materially aid in the movement, as well as by showing the heads of infantry columns as low as Tallahatchie.
Very truly, your obedient servant,
S. A. HURLBUT,
HDQRS. DIST. OF CORINTH, DEPT. OF THE TENNESSEE,
Corinth, April 4, 1863.
CAPTAIN: In accordance with Major-General Hurlbut's dispatch, I submit the plan of operations east of here. General Rosecrans proposes