I have sent 100 men to resist the crossing of the enemy. The river is still fordable; I think I can prevent them from crossing. I do not know the force that is there. It is reported that they are advancing toward the ford.
Colonel Byrd is very sick, and has resigned the command of the brigade this morning.
I think Lieutenant-Colonel Bond will take command, but it is not decided yet.
Respectfully, yours, &c.,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
CAIRO, ILL., October 16, 1863-9 a.m.
(Received 10.40 p.m.)
I have just arrived, and report in pursuance with instructions of the 3rd instant. The staff and headquarters are with me.
U. S. GRANT,
CAIRO, ILL., October 16, 1863-11.30 a.m.
(Received 9 p.m.)
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Rebels seem to have moved north with most of the cavalry in Mississippi, and also with Loring's division. Loring and a portion of the cavalry moved up the Mobile railroad; Chalmers and others, with 3,000 to 5,000 cavalry and some artillery, up the Mississippi Central. Their place back of Vicksburg is filled by two brigades of infantry. General McPherson moved out with all the force he could take, on the 12th, intending to drive the enemy from the Mississippi Central Railroad. He will stay several days at Canton, and send the cavalry as far to the east as they can safety go. The Charleston railroad was attacked at Collierville on the 11th. They were repulsed with a loss to us of about 100 killed and wounded, but after destroying one brigade and the camp and garrison equipage of the Sixty-sixth Indiana, Hatch got south of their force, and when I left Memphis had been fighting them for two days.
Brigadier-General Sweeny was near him with an infantry force, and I am in hopes this Chalmers' force is entirely broken up. If the Columbus railroad is opened it will be necessary to abandon the railroad from Memphis. I would rather advise depending on the country, the Tennessee River, and the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad supplying our armies. The Charleston railroad is completed to Iuka, and the work progressing eastward. General Sherman was at Corinth as I passed, with a portion of his force to the east of him. Price is reported to have left Arkadelphia and gone to Washington. I directed General Hurlbut to advise Steele to send a cavalry force to Arkadelphia and destroy the salt-works,
powder-mills, &c. It is not practicable to withdraw a portion of Steele's force.
U. S. GRANT,