spare a force to proceed via Columbia to Huntsville, thence to Stevenson and Bridgeport, turning us on that flank also, especially as he may obtain re-enforcements on that line from Grant's army, in the western district. This idea, too, is favored by the fact that the force which has been distributed over that district are now being called in, and the works at Jackson being dismantled, and the artillery and stores removed to Memphis. This idea is supported also by the further fact that it seems pretty well agreed their expedition against Vicksburg is a failure, and they will want employment for those troops. Whether the speculations I offer will be supported by events or not, such is the situation.
February 27.-I think it plain that it is the purpose of the enemy to operate with a large force, and, as far as possible, to make a sure thing of this campaign, the object of which seems to be to get full possession of Tennessee, Middle and East, with its railroad connections, as they now have the West. That it is of great importance that those charged with the responsibility of its defense should be fully posted, and well in advance of events, I need not say.
I have had access to a Yankee paper, which gives the divisions and brigades engaged in the battle of Murfreesborough. From this we learn that they had on that field 24 batteries-in all, 144 fields gun. The four additional divisions received since that battle, and prior to the arrival of Sigel, should add at least 12 batteries more, and these, at 6 guns to the battery, would give them 72+144=216 guns, against 16 batteries, at 4 guns each, equal 64, now belonging to the two corps of this army, plus 16 more to be added in 4 reserved batteries now being got ready, equal in all, 80. Besides this, we must add to the enemy's force of guns whatever Sigel may have brought with him. In these figures I think there is no mistake, and they are significant, at least.
I have just heard a report that the enemy has appeared below Florence, on the Tennessee River, with gunboats and transports. This would seem to favor the idea of a movement along that river via Decatur, &c., as already indicated.
I remain, general, very truly, yours,
SPECIAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE,
No. 50. Tullahoma, February 25, 1863.
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IV. The cavalry command of Major-General Van Dorn, re-enforced by Forrest's brigade, will constitute a separate division of this army, to be known as Van Dorn's cavalry division. The brigade of Wharton, Morgan, and Hagan [late Wheeler's] will constitute a separate division, under Major-General Wheeler.
V. The assignment of cavalry brigades to the army corps is rescinded, and the divisions will report direct to these headquarters; but cavalry outposts will always report to the nearest commanders in their rear all important information obtained, and all movements of the enemy.
VI. The two regiments of Alabama cavalry under Colonel Roddey, and Captain [J. W.] Griffith's First Kentucky Cavalry, will report to Major-General Wheeler for assignment. The skeleton regiments reported as Buford's brigade [he having been transferred from this department] are assigned to Brigadier-General Morgan's command.