JANUARY 4, 1864.
Commanding Second Cavalry Division, Pulaski:
I cannot determine definitely what to do with you until I can communicate with the forces in West Tennessee. I will inform you as soon as possible. Meanwhile, act as if you were going to join me. I appreciate your desire to prepare for the spring campaign. Make yourselves as comfortable as you can where you are, even if you do not remain.
WM. SOOY SMITH,
CAMP NEAR MOUNT PLEASANT,
January 4, 1864.
Yes; send the detachment as soon as you can mount and equip it. Telegraph General Crook at Pulaski.
WM. SOOY SMITH,
Brigadier-General, Chief of Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Scottsborough, Ala., January 4, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel T. S. BOWERS,
Asst. Adjt. General, Military Div. of the Miss., Chattanooga:
COLONEL: Finding it necessary to send an officer for rolls, blanks, &c., I have concluded to send my chief of staff, Lieutenant-Colonel Hammond, who has been over the country a good deal and knows how affairs stand in the command and along the line of railroad.
The road is in good condition to Flint River, where the bridge is approaching completion, and will then be good to Huntsville; from that point to Decatur four bridges must be built (see inclosed dispatch* from Colonel Alexander, commanding brigade at Huntsville.) An engineer regiment can do this work with more economy and expedition than by any other mode. The First Regiment Michigan Engineers are now at Bridgeport. The country roads are not in a condition to be used, and our mules are weak, so that wagons cannot do much. Some forage still remains in the country, and this we are bringing in as fast as circumstances will permit. It is, however, in limited quantities in this neighborhood, having been gathered from Stevenson, and, even if we get all, will be insufficient; farther west it is reported more abundant. I could get along very well if the railroad was managed with decency or good will. As things now are the road is almost a hinderance, because I cannot depend on it; two days sometimes pass without a train, and they are often five hours from Stevenson to this place. There is only one locomotive; we should have two by all means; we should also have double the number of cars now in use, but with what there are they could do four times as much if they tried. A few days since a conductor remained at Larkinsville (as reported to me by General J. E. Smith) over twelve
*See p. 11.