although the withdrawal from Chattanooga is incomprehensive. I merely report the rumor to caution all pickets, scouts, &c., to give the earliest possible notice of infantry to our front.
W. T. SHERMAN,
HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Memphis, Tenn., September 19, 1863.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN,.
Commanding Fifteenth Army Corps, in the Field:
GENERAL: I sent yesterday a telegram received from the General-in-Chief, commanding the immediate re-enforcement of Rosecrans by available troops in this district and on the Mississippi. The stage of water in the Ohio and Tennessee is so low that I fear it will be impossible to throw the force forward by boats. Either you will have to come up to Memphis, take railroad to Bear Creek, and thence march to Bridgeport and Chattanooga, or go to Cairo and thence by rail to Louisville. The Tennessee can be crossed at several points by a flying bridge, and possibly, by fording.
If you determine to take this route it will be necessary to advise me, so that I may have rations for your corps provided at Corinth.
As you will also require a heavy train, you will advise me on that point.
We are scarce of boats; so many have gone below and so many detained by low water above that I question whether you can get enough for the transportation of your corps except fractionally. It may be worth while to consider the propriety of marching your command, sending your artillery by boats.
The small force which I can spare from this corps must be sent by transports or rail, as it is too small to march alone through the country. If your corps marches, they can accompany it.
I will send you all the information I receive at once.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. A. HURLBUT,
Washington, September 19, 1863-4 p.m.
Give me definite information of the number of troops sent toward Decatur, and where they are; also what other troops are to follow, and when. Has anything been hard from the troops ordered from Vicksburg? No effort must be spared to support Rosecrans' right and guard the crossings of the Tennessee River.
H. W. HALLECK,