as I am in great need of competent artillerists. They are required to drill and render efficient as speedily as possible the new men with which our batteries are being filled up.
I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,
N. B. FORREST,
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President Confederate States of America.
APRIL 28, 1864.
The statement of the strength of this command is very surprising after the verbal reports sent here of the number of men raised in the first visit to West Tennessee. Two of the four brigades were transferred under Brigadier-General Chalmers from General Lee's command, one (Richardson's) was raised by him and Colonel Bell before Forrest went to the department, and one large regiment and one battalion of five companies were sent by me from the Army of Tennessee, and General Polk has assigned three small regiments of Kentucky infantry. But little is left for the men raised by General Forrest. The movement into Middle Tennessee was, and i consider is still, of the utmost importance. The breaking up of the marauding bands of the enemy is very gratifying, if it is not to be followed by similar organizations claiming to be in our service. If Mr., William McGee, General Forrest's messenger, belongs to a Louisiana battery, he is employed by the general without authority, and is one of the cases of men enticed from their commands and employed in violation of orders. He should be arrested and sent to his proper command, and General Forrest made accountable for his unauthorized absence.
APRIL 29, 1864.
Adjutant-General, for his attention and advice.
HEADQUARTERS FORREST'S CAVALRY DEPARTMENT,
Jackson, Tenn., April 26, 1864.
COLONEL: I have the honor respectfully to forward you the following report of my engagement with the enemy on the 12th instant at Fort Pillow:
My command consisted of McCulloch's brigade, of Chalmer's division, and Bell's brigade, of Buford's division, both placed for the expedition under the command of Brigadier General James R. Chalmers, who, by a forces march, drove in the enemy's pickets, gained possession of the outer works, and by the time I reached the field, at 10 a. m., had forced the enemy to their main fortifications, situated on the