HEADQUARTERS CHIEF OF CAVALRY, MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Nashville, Tennessee, November 21, 1863.
Brig. General W. L. ELLIOTT,
Chief of Cavalry, Department of the Cumberland:
SIR: Since my arrival here I have looked through the corrals containing the horses sent here for issue to the cavalry of your department. Of those examined not one-fifth were fit for use. Many of them are from fifteen to twenty years old, some are blind, and some are badly spavined. I reported the result of my inspection to Quartermaster-General Meigs, and I have since taken Assistant Quartermaster-General Donaldson through the corrals that he might see for himself the fraud perpetrated on the Government by the inspectors and purchasing quartermasters who have passed and forwarded such horses. Nothing but failure can be expected of cavalry mounted on such animals.
I have also looked through the ordnance department, and find that carbines and pistols are scarce. Captain Townsend has about 300 Sharps carbines, which you can get for issue to your best troops. Of sabers and horse-equipments there are plenty.
Endeavor as far as practicable to secure uniformity in the kind of ammunition required by your regiments, and brigades too, if possible. To this end let exchange of arms be ordered if necessary, these exchanges to be effected through your ordnance office.
I will inquire to-day as to the quantity of clothing on hand and for issue to the cavalry. You should embrace the present opportunity to secure and issue the clothing that may be needed in the First Division.
Advise me of your movements promptly, particularly those in the direction and vicinity of East Tennessee,as I desire if possible to secure co-operation between the cavalry forces of this department and that of East Tennessee.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. SOOY SMITH,
Brig. Gen., Chief of Cavalry, Div. of the Mississippi.
HEADQUARTERS CHIEF OF CAVALRY, DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Alexandria, Tennessee, November 21, 1863.
Maj. General J. J. REYNOLDS,
Chief of Staff, Hdqrs. Department of the Cumberland:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report my arrival at this place. The following disposition of troops has been made: First Brigade, First Division, Colonel A. P. Campbell, Second Michigan Cavalry, commanding, near Liberty, with instructions to scout toward Washington and Pikeville, communicating with the Second East Tennessee and Tenth Ohio Cavalry. Companies from the First Brigade have been stationed at Auburn and Stone's River, to patrol the road by company, keeping up communication with Murfreesborough. Second Brigade, First Division, at this place. I learn that the crossing of Stone's River on the Nashville and Lebanon road is very bad;