HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF COLUMBUS,
June 15, 1863.
Major General W. S. ROSECRANS:
The abandonment of the district of Jackson by our forces, and the reduction of my command by six regiments of infantry and seven companies of cavalry, ordered to Memphis and Vicksburg, places my district in a critical position, and leaves the whole country between the Tennessee and mississippi Rivers, from Paducah to Corinth, over 150 miles in length, comprising about 15,000 square miles, where secessionist prevails, and guerrillas are constantly organizing, guarded by only a part of my force, now not over 4,000 men. I therefore requested Major-General Hurlbut to replace, as soon as possible, the troops ordered from my district. The general commanding replied with the assurance that your army would prevent any inroad into the country between the Tennessee and Mississippi. To-day, however, I have received information that the rebels have crossed the Tennessee at several places, occupying Lexington, Jackson, and Camden, with the intention to advance upon Columbus.
At this critical juncture, the navigation of the Mississippi being imperative, I would respectfully request you to prevent the further crossing of rebel forces, and order assistance to my small cavalry garrison at Fort Heiman, from whence I was obliged to withdraw all the infantry.
CAMP NEAR TRIUNE, TENN.,
June 15, 1863.
Major General D. S. STANLEY,
Commanding Cavalry Corps:
In reply to your note of the 13th, I would say that it is reported, and believed by General Gragner and myself, that Forrest is at Spring Hill, about 5,000 strong. He went to Spring Hill the day after the fight here on the 13th of June. The front of his column was at Bethesda. He is fearful of a raid, and keeps moving all the time. In addition to his old force, in our front co-operating with him, are Coe's [?] brigade, below Versailles; martin's brigade. at Chapel Hill; and Crews' brigade, at Widow Boyd's, on Flat Creek.
If you can get in Forrest's rear, giving me timely notice to strike him in front from Franklin, I think we might, possibly [sic]. I think Franklin would be the best station for my force, both to strike from and to get up the stock, there being much better grazing there. I very much need another section of artillery; can they not be given me?
I am, general, your very obedient servant,
ROBT. B. MITCHELL,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers.
CINCINNATI, June 15, 1863.
Major-General HARTSUFF, Columbia, Ky.:
The two expedition of General White and Colonel Sanders have started, and must be well under way by this time.
A. E. BURNSIDE,