dition as will enable the battery to move with the command. I have been unable to supply my artillery with horses, from the fact that the captured stock is very inferior and has to supply the place of the horses killed in action. The enemy's navigation of the rivers has been uninterrupted from the want of this important branch of the service, and it is to be hoped that the lieutenant-general commanding will give the matter his earliest attention.
I am, colonel, with respect, your obedient servant,
N. B. FORREST,
Lieutenant Colonel THOMAS M. JACK,
HEADQUARTERS FORREST'S CAVALRY,
Jackson, Tenn., April 15, 1864.
DEAR SIR: Having an opportunity of sending a letter district to Richmond by a friend who leaves here in the morning, and believing that your Excellency would be glad to receive as information a detailed statement of the condition of things in this section, I have taken the liberty of addressing you this communication. North Mississippi, West Tennessee, and Southern Kentucky, west of the Tennessee River, are free from Federal rule and occupation, except by the garrisons at Memphis and Paducah. There may be a small force at Columbus, but my last advices were that the enemy has or intended evacuating it. They look upon Memphis as being the next point of attack, and are reported as having moved all stores and valuables within their fortifications at Fort Pickering.
I am glad to state that in all the engagements I have had with them since I re-entered West Tennessee we have been successful. The bands of guerrillas, horse-thieves, and robbers which infested this region have been broken up and dispersed, and many men heretofore Union in sentiment are openly expressing themselves for the South. There are yet a large number of men in West Tennessee who have avoided the service, and there is but little prospect for adding to our strength by volunteering. Conscription, however, would, I think, give us from 5,000 to 8,000 men, perhaps more. I have not, from constant marches and active operations in the field, been able to do much in conscripting those subject to military duty but design doing so effectively whenever I can with safety send detachments in all directions to scour the country for deserters and conscripts. My command consists of four small brigades, numbering about 5,000 men, and being in a country entirely surrounded (except at the south) by navigable streams, by which the enemy could gain my rear, it has required constant watchfulness to protect myself against possible movements and act offensively at the same time.
I left Columbus, Miss., on March 16 with Bufor's division (without wagons) with five days' cooked rations and 60 rounds of ammunition to the man, and reached this place on the 23rd. After resting my horses and preparing more rations moved rapidly northward against Union City and Paducah; captured Union City on the 24th with over 400 prisoners, 200 horses, and several hundred stand of arms.
While the move of a portion of the command was made against Union City, with the balance I moved rapidly on Paducah, drove