move on the western front of this department at an early day and in heavy force. He will move probably from Vicksburg, Yazoo City, and perhaps Natchez at the same time. General Johnston has sent back to me two of the brigades sent to General Bragg. The whole of my force, it will be seen, is very small, inadequate to the emergency. I shall endeavor to make the best disposition of the forces at my command and await instructions from the Department.
HDQRS. FORREST'S CAVALRY DEPT.,
Como, January 26, 1864.
In obedience to orders from Lieutenant-General Polk, commanding Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana, I hereby assume command of the Northern Cavalry Department, which consists of all cavalry commands in West Tennessee and North Mississippi, as far south as the southern boundaries of the counties of Monroe, Calhoun, Chickasaw, Yalobusha, Tallahatchie, and that part of Sunflower and Bolivar lying north of a line drawn from the southwest corner of Tallahatchie County to the town of Prentiss, on the Mississippi River, to be known and designated as "Forrest's Cavalry Department." All cavalry commanders north of this line will at once report to these headquarters the strength and condition of their commands. The strength of the enemy in our front, and their merciless ravages on this portion of the country during the past two years, should furnish a sufficient appeal to men to rally at once for the defense of their homes. I come to you with a full supply of arms, ammunition, and accouterments, and there are men enough in the department, if properly organized, to drive the enemy from our soil. Let us then be prompt in our organizations and ready for the spring campaign.
N. B. FORREST,
HDQRS. BUCKNER'S DIV., DEPT. OF EAST TENNESSEE,
Dandridge, E. Tenn., January 26, 1864.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I would respectfully urge upon the War Department the importance of giving to this division the usual strength and efficiency of other divisions of our army; at least to the extent which will be attained by ordering to this department of the army Reynolds' brigade and Major Williams' battalion of artillery (consisting of Darden's, Kolb's, and Jeffress' batteries), which properly belong to this division. Reynolds' brigade is now with Major General Carter L. Stevenson's division, in the army commanded by General Joseph E. Johnston in Georgia. Williams' battalion is also with the same army, and all were detached upon an emergency which occurred just after two brigades of this division had been put en route to make a junction with Lieutenant-General Longstreet's command operating before Knoxville in November last. The effect has been to injure most seriously the efficiency of this division. Without artillery and without the usual number of brigades, all of which legitimately belong