HUNTSVILLE, December 18, 1863.
I have received orders from General Smith, chief of cavalry, to concentrate my entire force at this point, except Long's brigade. Not knowing the whereabouts of the Third Indiana and Tenth Ohio, will you please have them ordered here at once.
NASHVILLE, December 18, 1863.
I have telegraphed Crook to concentrate his command, except Long's brigade, at Huntsville immediately. He will have to cross Elk River at the crossing of the Tennessee and Alabama Railroad. He can then reach Savannah much easier than Eastport, and Dodge thinks we had better cross there. If General Wilson can be spared I very much desire that he should proceed to West Tennessee to push forward the movements in that quarter. Forrest will gather up all the conscripts, deserters, and stock that he can and escape as soon as possible into Mississippi. If he is permitted to do so, Dodge will spare us two regiments of mounted infantry temporarily. If we can have two or three covered barges for ferrying purposes on the Tennessee, they will aid greatly. I believe they can be had at Paducah.
W. SOOY SMITH,
Brigadier-General, Chief of Cavalry.
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, December 18, 1863.
Major General GEORGE STONEMAN,
Chief of Cavalry Bureau, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I have experienced great difficulty in getting detachments of cavalry supplied with arms and accouterments. There is not in store in the ordnance department here a single saber-belt or holster. There are scarcely any cavalry arms, and those we have are such inferior character as to be next to worthless. The Starr pistol, for instance, is entirely too delicate. It becomes altogether unserviceable with any amount of care we are able to secure for it. It matters not what should be, we have to deal with what is, and make it as much better as possible. The arms supplied to the cavalry of this division are so various in character that scarcely a single regiment is uniformly armed, and many of them have arms of three or four different calibers, making it difficult, if not impossible, to keep them properly supplied with ammunition. Cannot some arrangement be made to secure for our cavalry, at the West a larger proportion of arms of standard character, such as Sharps carbines and Colt revolvers. I would also suggest that ordnance stores for our cavalry should be accumulated at points convenient for issue to the cavalry in the several departments constituting the military division, such as Lexington, Ky., and Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee