each could be placed together and constitute one subdivision of the brigade. From what I have been able to learn this would be satisfactory, for since I have been here there has been but one field officer with the brigade (Lieutenant-Colonel Bryan), and he has been the brigade commander. Since Lieutenant-Colonel Bryan has been attending this court-martial the brigade has been under the command of a captain, Captain Jones, of Third Arkansas. This is a deplorable condition of affairs. I understand that Rainey is unfit for duty, and not willing to return. Lieutenant-Colonel Work has tendered his resignation. Colonel Key is not likely to be fit for duty, and I have not yet learned where the other field officers of the brigade are, but it seems to me that this in enough to show the propriety of uniting the small brigade now with the Army of Tennessee with this one. This brigade has a name, and has been organized since early in the war; the other has been disorganized and reorganized so often, and the troops composing it have been so often transferred from one brigade to another, that they can have no strong objections to being placed in this. What think you of this? The horror for consolidation among these troops arises from a fear of consolidation with troops of other State, I think. If you agree with me that this feeble little squad ought not to do the duties of a brigade, see what can be done. Write me as soon as you ascertain what can be done with reference to this matter, and also let me know how the application for transfer is disposed of. Remember me kindly to all the Texas gentlemen, especially Sexton and Reagan. If you do not go to Texas at once I would like to see to see you when Congress adjourns.
DEMOPOLIS, February 20, 1864.
Major General N. B. FORREST,
In the Field:
GENERAL: I send you twenty wagons loaded with ordnance stores, and shall forward to you all that you have furnished a requisition for as soon as possible. I will send it to Gainesville by steamer, from whence you can get it. Your ordnance officer thinks that the twenty wagons and teams which I send you may be enough for you as a permanent train. I send you good teams and the best wagons I have. I shall send the rest of the requisition perhaps to-morrow. It is of the highest importance that the column under Grierson should be defeated and, if possible, crushed. If we can destroy that, then the whole of Sherman's army must come to a bad end. I am to be re-enforced by a strong detachment and will take the offensive as soon as practicable. I have ordered General Lee to move rapidly as he can to join you in your attack on Grierson, and he has been moving northward for that purpose. He passed Luaderdale yesterday morning with his whole command to meet the enemy. General Gholson will join you with his Mississippians. General Ruggles also will unite with you with several companies and regiments. These all I hope will enable you to crush him. He ought never to be permitted to escape you or to make a junction with Sherman. I shall write to General Lee to-night to hasten forward to make a junction with you before active operations shall have begun, so that your