HEADQUARTERS FOURTH ARMY CORPS,
Blain's Cross-Roads, January 4, 1 864.
Commanding, Buffalo Creek, East Tennessee:
GENERAL: You will cross your command over to the south side of the Holston River as soon as possible, join General Sturgis, and await further orders from department or these headquarters.
You will send to Hawkins' Ford all the available flat-boats not required for crossing your own troops as promptly as possible, to report to Major-General Sheridan.
Report at once what facilities you have for crossing the river, at what time you will be ready to commence the movement, and about how long a time it will take you to get over.
It is important that all our movements should be made with secrecy and dispatch, and that you should have a good supply of ammunition and rations on hand for every emergency.
In case you should not be able to cross the river readily in your present vicinity it may be deemed expedient to order you to one of the ferries below, at or near this point.
Report soon the means of crossing, the time required, &c., between Hawkins' Ford and your camp, so that all necessary instructions may be given with the least possible delay.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
NASHVILLE, January 4, 1864.
Brigadier General W. D. WHIPPLE,
Some days ago three steamers arrived with subsistence stores from Cincinnati for Carthage, under the orders of General Grant. I telegraphed for a naval gun-boat to convoy, and it was sent me. Two of the steamers went to Carthage and delivered their cargoes; the other steamer is here and two more to arrive, and I want to know what to do with them. I see no use in sending them to Carthage, as there are only 400 men there. Two steamers have also reported from Cincinnati with subsistence for Big South Fork of the Cumberland. Shall I send them forward also? Are these supplies for General Foster's command? I wait your answer.
J. L. DONALDSON.
January 4, 1864.
Telegraph General Grant in my name as follows:
Forrest having escaped into Mississippi, I am crossing but about 2,000 men from this side the Tennessee, leaving Crook's division to fit up and prepare for the spring campaign. The force I take over, united to the cavalry of West Tennessee, will be ample. I expect to reach Corinth to-morrow. I have 32 guerrilla prisoners.
WM. SOOY SMITH,