HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,
February 24, 1864.
His Excellency President DAVIS,
The forage and subsistence between Greenville and Knoxville is entirely exhausted. Our animals cannot get along there unless we can get supplies from the east, outside of this department. We cannot hope to forage in rear of this, so near as Greenville, without cavalry, and we shall have but little after Martin leaves us.
DEMOPOLIS, February 24, 1864.
General J. E. JOHNSTON,
One division of General Hardee's troops arrived; the rest I have halted where they are. Enemy's plans having been broken up; he has abandoned the campaign and is retreating toward Canton with his infantry and Corinth with his cavalry. There being no prospect of overtaking his infantry, I have no need of General Hardee's troops, and will order them back to Dalton immediately.
(The above dispatch sent also to His Excellency President Davis, Richmond.)
West Point, February 24, 1864.
GENERAL: The enemy are retreating up the railroad. The general directs that you will send him 2,000 men, mounted, immediately; also Hoole's battery. He wishes you to hold the bridge. He is of the opinion that they are going to Cotton Gin to cross the river. In the event they do, he wants you to move immediately to Columbus. He wishes General Gholson to picket the river all the way up. He is following the enemy with his escort.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOS. S. TATE, JR.,
STARKVILLE, February 24, 1864.
Do you know anything of Colonel Isham Harrison's regiment? If you do, please order it to the vicinity of Artesia, to await my orders. Forrest defeated the enemy near Pontotoc on 22nd, capturing 100 prisoners and five pieces of artillery. He reports them routed. I have sent cavalry in pursuit of Sherman, who is returning westward, but do not expect them to overtake him.
S. D. LEE,