War of the Rebellion: Serial 058 Page 0024 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter XLIV.

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hours, without any reason whatever, and everything at a stand-still here, and General Morgan L. Smith's division three days without rations, which had to be pushed up by hand, 6 miles, on a terribly cold night. Last night another conductor absolutely refused to take the rations and forage to Bellefonte, although he had only three empty cars on. The provost guard attempted to compel him to take them, for the men are suffering, but he outran the guard and escaped with the empty cars, leaving the rations on the track.

This is a sample of the constant and injurious annoyances to which the command is subjected; each day they are repeated. My quartermaster can never get satisfaction, and sometimes not even an answer to his requests; indeed, the railroad men appear to do all in their power to embarrass.

In order to make this line useful they should be compelled to run regularly, or the road should be put under military control. To sum up, the railroad would be of little use were it not that we are able to push cars on the track by hand. I am willing to do anything I can to assist the railroad people if they will let me know what they require. So far they have never called on me for anything. Most of the stock has been driven out of the country. The mounted infantry stationed here secured about 500 animals. They are small and in poor condition, but can be made useful by feeding and care.

Provisions cannot be had in large quantities; we can get a small supply, and as we approach Huntsville I am assured that both corn and meat can be obtained from the country. A great deal has already been taken away by the different commanders that have been through, and mainly we must depend on the railroad. The health of the corps is excellent and the men in good spirits. They have been well supplied with clothes, shoes, &c.

Enlisting in the Veteran Corps progresses favorably, very. The bad weather at this time, and the irregularity of supplies, with the uncertainty about furloughs, no doubt exerted a bad influence. Much inconvenience has also arisen from the entire absence of rolls, blanks, &c., but if Congress makes further arrangements for re-enlisting, I think many more will come in.

General Sherman's headquarters are now at Huntsville, and I intend moving there as soon as the bridge over Flint River is completed. I will then move General M. L. Smith to Larkinsville, the country being better supplied as we go from Stevenson.

When this command has passed through, General Grant need have no fears of a rebel army following, unless on empty stomachs.

Very respectfully,




Cairo, Ill., January 4, 1864.

(Received War Department, 10.10 p.m.)

Major General U. S. GRANT,

Commanding Mil. Div. of the Miss., Nashville, Tenn.:

Arrived last night. Mississippi above frozen over, but Ohio full and river below in good order. Railroad trains running very irregular, from the late intense cold weather. Have seen Admiral Porter. Boats navigating the Mississippi have not been disturbed of late, and