you, will act according to the suggestions of Colonel Byrd. A note was received from you, sent to me by Mr. Ellison. He has not reported with the verbal instructions to which you refer.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. ELLIOTT,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, and Chief of Cavalry.
HDQRS. 92nd ILLINOIS Volunteers MOUNTED INFANTRY,
Caperton's Ferry, Ala, December 11, 1863.
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I beg to report that my animals are fast dying off. I am assured by my farrier and those familiar with the care of animals, that it is occasioned by the want of long forage. Since leaving Decherd, 16th of August last, we have been almost entirely without forage other than grain, and it in very scant quantities. We can procure none whatever in this vicinity. If we remain here my command must soon be dismounted.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. D. ATKINS,
Colonel Ninety-Second Illinois Volunteers.
Direct him to cross the river and encamp near General Stanley and report to him for duty.
W. D. W.
December 11, 1863.
Major General U. S. GRANT:
The dispatches I sent for you to Eastport got there the 6th, and found all troops on board of transports, including the One hundred and twenty-second Illinois, which I left to garrison the place. They had received your order by way of Paducah and construed it to take everything. That leaves no troops at Eastport. I suppose all stores went with them. They went to Hamburg the same day, and would report to Corinth for orders.
G. M. DODGE,
CHATTANOOGA, December 11, 1863.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN:
Start your command, with the exception of Granger's corps, back to their former camps by the most practicable routes. As soon as they are on the way, you can return yourself, leaving the troops to follow.
Elliott, I have just learned, did not leave Alexandria till last Friday. He will probably be in Kingston before this reaches you. If the