Meridian, and think I will be back on the river by the end of February, by which time I think I can spare you a force of about 10,000 men to ascend Red river in boats, with the gun-boats, to make a concerted attack. My own opinion is, that being in possession of the rivers we should use them to their utmost capacity this season of high water, which usually lasts in Red river up to June. But I must first use my entire force here to break that railroad connection between Meridian and Selma. i am stripping the river clear. General Kimball goes to you to-day, and I will converse wit him freely with a view that he communicate to you.
I am, with respect, yours, truly,
W. T. SHERMAN,
January 23, 1864.
Brigadier General J. P. HATCH,
Saint Louis, Mo.:
SIR: I am informed by Captain Hudson, aide-de-camp to Major-General Grant, that you are shipping horses to this point which were intended to go to Nashville. This is well, for an emergency now exists in this department which this change will enable us to meet. three hundred and seventy-seven horses arrived here to-day per steamers City of Alton and Delaware. The necessity that justifies the change in destination of the horses purchased for Nashville will probably not continue longer than about February 1, so that it will not be advisable to divert shipments that cannot arrive here before that time. It is of prime importance that our cavalry throughout General Grant's division should be put in the best possible condition at the earliest practicable moment, in preparation for the spring campaign. I will do all I can to procure horses in the regions of country traversed by our cavalry. If the quartermaster's department' could only furnish hay sufficient during the next two months, we can bet a feat deal of corn in the country and recruit up and save many horses that will otherwise be lost to the service.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. SOOY SMITH,
Brigadier General Chief of Cav., Military Division of the Miss.
HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Corinth, January 23, 1864.
The bridge is not yet repaired. I shall not be able to send off any trains before 12 to-day. I have sent scout as far south as 40 miles, and find the report of the enemy moving on this place false. There has been no movement of troops expect to Forrest. The enemy seem to be concentrating all their force somewhere west of Pontotoc. Ferguson is at Lumpkin's Mill. I think I am in no danger except from interference with the road. I think the trains that are here loaded had better be put through to Memphis unless you