War of the Rebellion: Serial 053 Page 0355 Chapter XLII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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fullest capacity of the road, and will move on to Tuscumbia at the earliest possible moment. Stephen D. Lee at Tuscumbia with about 4,000 of the Mississippi cavalry.

Accept the command of the great army of the center; don't hesitate. By your presence at Nashville you will unite all discordant elements an impress the enemy in proportion. All success and honor to you.




Corinth, October 14, 1863.

Brigadier General J. A. RAWLINS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Dept. of the Tennessee:

SIR: I arrived here night before last, and find that the railroad has been repaired up to Iuka and will be done to-morrow to Bear Creek. Osterhaus' division is at Iuka with an advance guard at Bear Creek and Eastport. He himself goes to Eastport to-day and will report the actual condition of the river and country.

John E. Smith's division is at Glendale and Burnsville.

Morgan L. Smith's division I expected to find here, having arranged to that end. One brigade is here, but one brigade is this side of Pocahontas escorting the train of empty wagons I sent out to save railroad space. The other brigade of the division was halted at La Grange at the request of General Sweeny pending his expedition against the enemy reported near Salem. But inasmuch as General Carr has moved to La Grange with all his Corinth force, I have ordered the brigade to come forward at once; but two of the regiments, the Fifty-fifth Illinois and One hundred and twenty-seventh Illinois, have gone off on the expedition with General Sweeny. It was not right to divert any of my forces, as they will be taxed to their utmost by the marching and labor in reserve for us. I am in hopes that General Sweeny will have accomplished fully the object of his march in time to enable these regiments to overtake me at Iuka.

General Corse's division marching a body and were at La Grange last night. They will be here, I estimate, the day after to-morrow, when I will move forward to Iuka and prepare to march on Tuscumbia. I hear that one regiment of the enemy's cavalry, commanded by one Jess Forest, is at Cherokee, beyond Bear Creek, doubtless watching us. It is also reported from many quarters that a force of about 4,000 cavalry under General Stephen D. Lee marched from Okolona to Tuscumbia, and whilst crossing to the north side of the Tennessee were attacked by Union cavalry and driven back. I did not expect any of our people there at this time, and it may be Rosecrans has sent a force to Tuscumbia to find us and that it opportunely prevented Lee crossing. I am impatient to get forward, but the capacity of the railroad is far less than I estimated and it works very slowly indeed. Rains, too, have set in, making it hard on our marching and on the trains. There is not a particle of forage in this country, and when I got to Corinth the quartermaster had none. We hear of small squads of guerrillas north and south, and as a matter of course they will break this road. General Chalmers' force that attacked me at Collierville was made up of these local bands that had been assembled for that very purpose. Hatch should be