for making hurried or long marches, and also that it will be advisable for them to make detours from the usually traveled highway, if by so doing a better road can be found, having in mind always supplies of rations and forage. It has been suggested to him that their columns march from Decherd, by way of Tracy City, to Bridgeport, instead of following the road along the line of the railroad. Many of the officers on duty with the division may be familiar with this road, and can judge of its advantages or disadvantages. The general only desires that the best route should be selected, and that the march should be made solely with a view to the arrival of the column in serviceable condition. As the First Brigade is supplies with its transportation, and as we know of no rebel force of any magnitude north of the Tennessee River, it is presumed that it will move without further delay, and due notice will be given for the Second to follow it.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. PERKINS,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Chattanooga, January 31, 1864.
The general commanding directed that you report to the chief engineer of the Military Division of the Mississippi, at Nashville, the condition of the defenses at Nashville, as to whether they are capable of standing a siege; if the depots of supplies are properly covered from artillery fire and protected from assault; also the same information with reference to railroad bridges; also information as it whether any work is being dine on the defenses of Nashville; what artillery is in position, its character; also the amount and condition of the ammunition.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
PULASKI, TENN., January 31, 1864.
Colonel GEORGE E. SPENCER:
Find out all you can about Johnston's army, whether it is at Dalton. Talk to the officer, just as though you knew it had all gone from there. There evidently are large moves on the board by the rebels, and that is one of them.
G. M. DODGE,
MEMPHIS, January 31, 1864.
Colonel A. G. BRACKETT,
Enemy in force are engaging pickets of Third Bridge between Colllierville and Mount Pleasant. Keep your scouts well out south and southwest, and yourself in readiness to support Colonel McCrillis, if necessary.
B. H. GRIERSON,