The water is now rising at Chattanooga, and the rise will extend along the river. It may be only a temporary rise. The gun-boats will be ready to go up the moment a rise takes place. I will keep you further informed on the subject.
D. D. PORTER,
FLAG-SHIP BLACK HAWK,
Cairo, Ill., October 11, 1863. (Received 7.25 p.m., 12th.)
Honorable GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy:
SIR: The Tennessee River light-draught gun-boats cannot cross Leatherwood Bar, 10 miles above Fort Henry, nor at Little Chain, 30 miles from Paducah. The whole channel is narrow and shoal. In regard to the Ohio River, there is but 28 inches on the bar between Paducan and Smithland, and only one or two small boats Navigate the river. Between Cairo and Paducan only 3 feet; towbarges cannot even be brought down. The Tennessee is rising very slowly, and so will the Ohio, as it is raining hard at this time, but whether the rain will have any effect upon the river remains to be seen.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. D. PORTER,
Commanding Mississippi Squadron.
MEMPHIS, TENN., October 11, 1863. (Received 9.10 p.m., 13th.)
Colonel A. STAGER,
Washington, D. C.:
Dispatches received. Generals Sherman and Hurlbut both doubt the practicability of opening line to Cairo in present condition of country. Guerrillas cut line between nearly every station every night on road from here to Corinth, but Sherman promises to cover line from Corinth to Jackson, and Hurlbut from Columbus to Trenton. We will use every endeavor to carry out the order as soon as possible. All bridges and trestles are destroyed, and through Obion Bottom guerrillas rove with impunity. I respectfully refer you to Sherman's long report of situation here, sent to-day to General Halleck.* I assure you it is no fault of mine that Memphis is cut off so long. Battle now raging at Collierville, on railroad. Sherman is there in person, being en route on railroad. Line working to that point.
WM. G. FULLER,
IUKA, MISS., October 11, 1863.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN,
I returned at 2 p.m. from beyond Bear Creek; the road is pretty good and the crossing of the stream offers no difficulty. It is in some places about 50 yards wide, but shallow enough to be easily bridged; besides there are good practicable fords.
*Sherman to Halleck, 11.30 p.m., October 10, p. 235.