and I am having it repaired. Whatever the two brigades in advance have to send back in the way of broken-down men and horses or prisoners send to this point immediately, if they have any, and I will have Waring's brigade disencumbered also upon its arrival here, and the whole can return by the best route from here to Memphis. Keep scouts well out in the direction of Oxford and Pontotoc. I do hope Waring may arrive some time this forenoon.
WM. SOOY SMITH,
Brigadier-General, Chief of Cavalry.
NEW ALBANY, MISS., February 16, 1864-11 p.m.
Brigadier General B. H. GRIERSON,
Chief of Cavalry, Department of the Tennessee:
SIR: Waring's brigade reached here since dark and is moving to a point 4 miles from this on the Potomac road. I have ordered him to move his whole command forward promptly at 5 a.m. tomorrow. I will leave here at 3 o'clock in the morning and push up to overtake you. If Waring's brigade should move by any other than the direct road you must send back the necessary directions to meet him. The prisoners sent back report that Forrest is due tonight in Pontotoc. If this be true we may clinch to-morrow morning. Make yourself as familiar as possible with the country in your immediate vicinity and secure all the advantages of positions that you can. Throw out heavy pickets and have individual scouts well out. Let your "reveille" be sounded at 4 o'clock and "boots and saddles" at 5 a.m. Look out for your right flank well, as Forrest may attempt to pass it to the rear to separate your two advance brigades from the remainder of the command. If even he should succeed in this, turn upon him and fight toward us. I will push up toward you with all vigor. Do not fight at "long taw," but close with the enemy at the earliest possible moment. If you should possess information rendering thee precautions unnecessary, go ahead and do what appears clearly for the best, and inform me immediately, and I will hurry up as fast as possible. I hope to reach you by daylight to-morrow. I send back the sick and prisoners under a strong escort.
WM. SOOY SMITH,
Brigadier General Chief of Cavalry, Mil. Div. of the Mississippi.
NEW ALBANY, MISS., February 16, 1864.
SIR: Your unfortunate delays seriously embarrass our enterprise, if they do not render our ultimate success problematical. The Tallahatchie River is now rising rapidly at this point, and unless you can arrive within a very few hours it may be a matter of great difficulty to get you over. We are fixing the crossing for the third time.