other directions. I have given directions for putting the railroad from Nashville to Decatur in running order. That road is now only guarded to Columbia, and the force left by you will have to guard the balance, with the aid of cavalry from Thomas' command, until further arrangements can be made. It is not my intention to leave any portion of your army to guard roads in the Department of the Cumberland when an advance is made, and particularly not Dodge, who has been kept constantly on that duty ever since he has been subject to my orders. Your army being the smallest army in the field would be another reason why it should not be broken up guarding railroads.
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Camp on Blue Water Creek, Ala., November 5, 1863.
Maj. Gen. W. T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Department and Army of the Tennessee:
GENERAL: I arrived here to-night with Lightburn's brigade of the Second Division. General Giles A. Smith camped here last night and is a day's march in advance, probably beyond Elk River.
Woods, with the whole of the First Division, will campt to-night at Florence. He camped last night at Gravelly Creek, having finished crossing the Tennessee yesterday morning at daylight.
The transportation was turned over to General Dodge, who was at Eastport, as I understood, with his whole force.
The Second Division crossed the Tennessee in twenty-four hours. The First Division occupied a somewhat longer time on account of the cavalry which they had to cross with the division.
There is an abundant, and more were expected to arrive momentarily.
The One hundred and eleventh of provisions at Eastport for General Dodge's command, and more were expected to arrive momentarily.
The One hundred and eleventh Illinois had not reached Eastport when I left at 11 o'clock yesterday morning, but I wrote to Dodge to forward it as quick as it arrived, as you had assigned it to the Second Division.
Captain Prichett, of the Lexington, informed me that the regiment was already shipped on the Sunny South when he left Paducah, and he reached Eastport the day before I left.
The First and Second Divisions are in good shape; you know more of the condition of the others than I do.
There are rumors of the enemy's cavalry having crossed the Tennessee to the number of 300 or 400, but our people have never encountered more than 30 or 40 of them at any one time.
It is reported here that Elk River has risen so as to be unfordable, and that J. E. Smith was detained by it. I presume, however, that your information is more accurate than mine.
I shall push the two divisions forward as rapidly as possible.
I send you the latest papers I have received and the mail for your headquarters.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
FRANK P. BLAIR, JR.,