War of the Rebellion: Serial 056 Page 0443 Chapter XLIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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You certainly entirely underestimate Forrest's strength. I am most outrageously imposed upon by my scouts if his forces does not approximate 5,000.




Memphis, Tennessee, December 18, 1863.

Brigadier General J. M. TUTTLE,

La Grange, Tennessee:

GENERAL: Brigadier General A. J. Smith was to start from Columbus to-day with about 4,000 men via Union City, Dresden, and Huntington on Jackson to attack Forrest.

I learn that 1,500 of Forrest's men went through to Pontotoc via Purdy for arms on 16th.

Mower's march is as well to intercept their return as to prevent Forrest from running off between Corinth and the river.

It will probably not be necessary for this force to move to Jackson. If Smith comes down as strong as I think he will, he will not need help. If he does your detachment will be on hand to assist. Grierson's column moving through Bolivar has pontoons, and will cross the Hatchie anywhere; yours will turn it.

Let Mower open communications with Smith.

If the enemy is balked on these two lines of retreat he will go toward Brownsville and the Mississippi. Grierson or Smith either will be sufficient and your own column can drop back to the railroad in that event.

I wish this to be done vigorously, and upon your suggestion have named Mower, who is the ranking officer, but if he comes up with Grierson I know he will consult him and defer to his superior knowledge of the ground.

Your obedient servant,





Numbers 324.

Memphis, Tennessee, December 18, 1863.

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IV. 1. Brigadier General B. H. Grierson, commanding cavalry division, will move his available force in two columns, one from Corinth via Purdy on Jackson, the other from La Grange via Bolivar on the same place. The Corinth column will be commanded by Colonel Mizner and will be supported by two regiments and a battery detached from General Tuttle's division under command of Brigadier General Joseph A. Mower, who will on joining the cavalry column take command; junction to be made at Purdy. Brigadier-General Grierson in person will take charge of the column directed on Bolivar, which will be supported by Morgan's brigade, which will move with ten days' rations and at least 100 rounds of ammunition per man. Communication will be opened between these columns as speedily and kept up as constantly as possible.

2. Brigadier General J. M. Tuttle will cause the infantry and artillery selected by him to move by rail to Pocahontas, Chewalla, or Cor-