Macon, and a cavalry force [small] had left that vicinity on Sunday to assist in opposing the advance of the Yankee cavalry on the Mobile and Ohio road. I have less than two brigades with me. The First, having completed their portion of the road, was ordered back to Meridian to finish up the extreme west end of the road, and then go into camp with their teams, which were left near town. Will I move to-morrow if Colonel [Winslow] is all safe?
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. J. SMITH,
My order of this morning is full answer to this. I want to show front to the east, but to work to the north. If there be any good bridge out on the Selma road about 20 miles, Winslow might dash out to-night and burn it.
HDQRS. FOURTH DIVSION, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Marion, Miss., February 17, 1864-10 a.m.
I reached here with the advance of Colonel Howe's brigade at 3 o'clock p.m. yesterday. Our work from that time was entirely suspended by skirmishing with Texas rebel cavalry. I shall complete the destruction of the railroad to this point at 1 o'clock to-day. I await orders.
JAMES C. VEATCH,
KNOXVILLE, TENN., February 17, 1864. [Received 4 a.m., 18th.]
Hon. E. M. STANTON:
I learn with regret that Captain Dickerson, chief quartermaster of the Department of the Ohio, has tendered his resignation, which I hope will not be accepted. He has felt mortified that the advanced rank of lieutenant-colonel, although recommended by several superior officers, has been refused, while others have received this advancement. He is conducting his department in this difficult country with great success, being a man of energy when the greatest energy is required. Permit me respectfully to request that he may receive the promotion which he has richly earned.
SPECIAL ORDERS, HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
No. 43. Nashville, Tenn., February 17, 1864.
1. Colonel William P. Innes, First Regiment Michigan Engineers and Mechanics, is hereby relieved from duty on the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad and will without delay resume command of