the condition of our stock will not at present allow us to send a great distance from this point, but we have hauled forage from the immediate country and ship it back to the other divisions by railroad. If a force of cavalry is placed here to forage the country near by, also we should soon be in want. This cavalry belongs to another command and do not appear to be subject to orders from this post, and difficulty unpleasantly arises in this respect also.
R. M. SAWYER,
STEVENSON, January 15, 1864.
I established a picket-post at Crow Creek brigade, on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, to-day, of 1 commissioned officer and a company of men. All quiet at this post. No enemy have been reported in the vicinity during the past twenty-four hours.
Colonel, Commanding Post.
Washington, D. C., January 15, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel L. C. EASTON,
Chief Quartermaster, Army of the Cumberland, Chattanooga:
COLONEL: I sent to Captain Arthur Edwards, in charge of steamboats building at Bridgeport, a copy of a pamphlet by Mr. Norman Wiard, descriptive of an armed transport for shallow water, which he has devised and of which one or two have been purchased by the quartermaster's department for service in the shallow bays and sounds and rivers of our eastern coast. General Grant was very desirous of having some gun-boats on the upper Tennessee River. The chance of those waiting at the Muscle Shoals getting over them within any short period is small. I wish therefore that two of the steam-boats being constructed at Bridgeport, say one sterm-wheel and one side-wheel, may be finished on the general plan of those described by Mr. Viard; the hulls to be built after the style of the Lookout and of the side-wheel steamer now on the stocks, but the cabins, the yawls, the derricks, and other accessories to be for the reception of an armament and of a crew, according to Ward's plan. Upon consulting the Navy Department this morning, I am informed that, if desired by General Grant, Admiral Porter will furnish armament and a crew for these armed steamers. I ordered whilst on Louisville contracts to be made for six more engines, two side-wheel and four stern-wheel, of the same size as those heretofore ordered. Contracts were made accordingly. The small engine order for the Missionary, ready to launch about the 2nd of January, was nearly completed. Captain Edwards expected to launch the Missionary about the 2nd of January. We had a large part of the frame of a side-wheel boat, 27 feet beam and 170 feet long, up, and was to lay down immediately four other boats. In Louisville I saw Captain Clements, sent from Kingston to procure