February 4, 1864.
You can wait a few days. It would be well to send force down Cumberland toward Celina to prevent rebels from crossing into Kentucky if Thirteenth Tennessee should scatter them.
E. H. HOBSON,
February 4, 1864.
DEAR GENERAL: I am deeply chagrined at the delay in our movement resulting from the non-arrival of the 2,000 cavalry ordered down from Columbus. They were delayed at the crossing of the Obion River, where they had great difficulty in getting over, and lost a considerable under of horses and men drowned. A portion of the command reached Bolivar on the 1st instant, Colonel Shanks, of the Seventh Indiana Cavalry, in advance. He sent 70 men into La Grange to communicate with us. Not knowing that the command from above would come by that roundabout way, we were expecting them in at Memphis, and La Grange had been entirely abandoned by us, and McGurik's Third Mississippi Regiment, 300 strong, had taken possession and were having a good time of it generally, when the 70 men pitched into them and sent the whole regiment fleeing pell-mell across the Wolf River, killing 2, wounding several, and capturing 9 prisoners. I intend complimenting them in orders. I have sent three companies to communicate with Colonel Waring, commanding the brigade, to bring them in with all haste. The moment they arrive I will be off.
I now have 5,00 cavalry well in hand, well provided with everything, and eager for the work. A brigade of infantry will advance on Panola from Memphis to attract attention in that direction. All is ready, the roads are drying up, and if only Waring was here this would be my last letter to you before starting. My anxiety is lessened somewhat by the fact that the last brigade of infantry left Memphis for Vicksburg ont eh 31st ultimo, and are not more than fairly off the boats by this time.
In all my conversations with General Sherman a force of 7,000 men was supposed, and the general frequently remarked that he desired me to be able to whip all the rebel cavalry in Mississippi combined; otherwise, I would move with the men I have and take all chances. I could not have moved sooner with the troops that have been on this lien without going in a somewhat crippled condition,f or want of many essential articles, which we have only been able to obtain within the last two days, such as arms and ammunition. The ordnance and quartermaster's departments in Memphis are very destitute of everything necessary to furnishing and keeping up cavalry. No surprise should be experienced at the rapid destruction of horses. It is now due in a greater degree to the neglect of the quartermaster's department than of the men themselves; and if they were to devote a few hours per day more to driving their fine teams our horses would all starve to death, and it might become necessary to