February 6, 1864.
Brigadier General W. S. SMITH,
The following dispatch is received from Captain Kirkbridge, commanding the Third Illinois Cavalry:
I struck the big road at Oakland. Neither Hurst nor Waring have passed on it. Citizens say there was a large force of our troops passing toward La Grange from the north two days ago.
This is the officer you sent out last night with the 100 men.
WM. H. INGERTON,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
NASHVILLE, February 6, 1864.
Major Gne. JOHN A. LOGAN,
From all the information that has come to these headquarters, the indications are that the enemy has greatly weakened himself in front of Chattanooga by sending forces to Mobile, and it is also reported two divisions [have been sent] to Lonsgreet, to enable him to hold his position in East Tennessee. To counteract this latter movement, and to successfully give battle to Longstreet, General Thomas has been directed to detach at least 10,000 men, besides Stanley's division, and proceed with them at the earliest practicable moment to Knoxville. To supply as far as possible the place of the troops thus withdrawn from Chattanooga, you will at once order, in readiness to move there on the receipt of orders, all the available force of your command that can possibly be spared without endangering too greatly the railroad they are now guarding.
By order of Major-General Grant:
JOHN A. RAWLINS,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.
HDQRS. FOURTH DIVISION, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Camp, 14 Miles from Jackson, Miss., February 6, 1864-3 a. m.
Commanding Thirty-third Missouri Volunteer Infantry:
By direction of Major-General Hurlbut, commanding Sixteenth Army Corps, you will take charge of the pontoon train and return with all convenient speed to Big Black, reporting your arrival to Brigadier-General Tuttle. Jackson is now in our possession, and the Pearl River bridge. You will try to reach Big Black to-night, and give such assistance to Captain Kossak, in charge of train, as he may need. Keep your train closed up, and guard your flanks well, It is not probable that you will meet anything more than straggling parties of the enemy.
JAMES C. VEATCH,