ains or rivers of importance to cross. Probably one-half the labor already expended on either of the railroads leading from Nashville to Stevenson would make a good rail track along the canal. This, however, can be ascertained precisely by an examination of a day or two by a competent engineer. With a portage then over the shoals, why should not this be our line of communication? It has suggested itself to me that by the use of the river Chattanooga might be made to hold the relation to this army that Nashville now does, and certainly where we are, in a country traversed by guerrillas, it must be easier to hold and less liable to accidents. At all events it appears to me that it is well worthy of your consideration. The capacity of the Nashville and Chattanooga road is insufficient to supply our wants. It is therefore necessary to make use of the one, via Decatur, and it is certainly an easier task to protect the river than either one of them. The difference in the expense of transportation of our supplies must be enormous.
January 1, 1864-3.45 p.m.
Commanding Fifteenth Army Corps, Bridgeport:
When can you relieve General Crook's troops at Huntsville? Crook's men should join him immediately at Pulaski.
WM. SOOY SMITH,
Brigadier General, Chief of Cavalry, Division of the Mississippi.
STEVENSON, January 1, 1864-2.30 p.m.
Lieutenant Colonel C. F. MORSE,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Your dispatch received at 2 p.m. Under orders from brigade headquarters I started five companies this morning. I have not been relieved by any forces, and have a very inadequate force for the duties here. Those five companies can be turned back by a telegram to that effect sent to Anderson forthwith if you desire.
WM. B. WOOSTER,
Lieutenant-Colonel Twentieth Connecticut.
MEMPHIS, January 1, 1864.
Colonel E. PRINCE,
Colonel Trafton should have reached La Grange last night or early this morning. If he has not returned you will sent out patrol and order him in. He was last heard from at Hudsonville. Answer.
B. H. GRIERSON,