loads of boots, shoes, sugar, coffee, and salt are brought by and to the worst rebels in Limestone County, and from there carried across the river to Roddey's command. This has been going on for some time. I am told that any man can go to Shelbyville and get whatever is wanted; in fact, captured rebel letters show that the rebel troops across the river are being supplied bountiful in this way.
JNO. A. LOGAN,
MEMPHIS, February 26, 1864
Major General U. S. GRANT:
General W. S. Smith returned here lat night; had been to West Point, Miss., which point he left 22nd. He reports a running fight for 60 miles back to Pontiac with Forrest's cavalry, said to be re-enforced by Lee, numbering in all about 6,000 or 7,000 men; was successful in every encounter, punishing the enemy severely except at Okolona, where he drove them three times from the field with one regiment; when this regiment was withdrawn the enemy in heavy force fell upon a disorganized regiment, inflicting heavy loss,probably 300. Six prairie howitzers were run into a ditch, from which it ws impossible to extricate them. The guns were then spike, carriages partially destroyed and abandoned to the enemy. The results of the raid were: Captured,3,500 horses and mules, 1,500 contrabands, 100 prisoners, including a number of officers. Colonel Forrest, brother to rebel General Forrest, killed. Destroyed 2,000 bales Confederate cotton, 2,000,000 bushels corn, 30 miles railroad, and 5 bridges between Okolona and West Point. Over 3,000 contrabands started to come in, but many were unable to keep up with the cavalry. Found abundance of supplies through the country. It was reported by rebel deserters that General Sherman took Meridian without opposition on the 15th, Polk falling back toward Demopolis and Selma and being re-enforced by Johnston's army. General Smith had no communication with General Sherman, finding it impossible.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
Knoxville, Tenn., February 26, 1864.
* * * * *
V. The chief quartermaster of this department will proceed to collect all cotton that has been used in the construction of fortifications and for other purposes in the vicinity of Knoxville, not absolutely necessary for the public service, and ship the same to Louisville, to be turned over to the chief quartermaster there, to be disposed of for the benefit of the Government according to existing regulations.
He will also take the necessary steps to ascertain the parties to whom such cotton may have belonged; the amount taken from
*On February 20, 1864. General Butterfield was ordered to report to General Grant in person, and was sent by him with dispatches to General Sherman.