HDQRS. CHIEF OF CAV., MIL., DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI.
Nashville, Tenn., March 14, 1864.
Colonel WILLIAM B. STOKES,
Commanding Fifth Tennessee Cavalry:
SIR: Your favor by Lieutenant Carter is received. Your have no idea of the demands made upon our Government for horses to remount our cavalry. No one Government-not all the Governments of the works-could keep so much cavalry mounted while animals are so recklessly destroyed. You know I will gladly aid you at all times in every way that I can to keep your command in good shape, but horses are absolutely out of the question. You must find and take them in the country you traverse. Horses cannot be bought at the North at any reasonable rate, and but few can be had at any rate whatever. If there are not horses enough where you are, we will have to move you to where they can be obtained. I am informed that there are still many serviceable animals all through White, Van Burnen Jackson, and Overton Counties. These must be taken with out exception, until you are fully provided. Endeavor ot feed well and insist upon the very best kind of grooming. Our cavalry will share in the coming campaign just in proportion to the nursing they will bestow upon their horses, for it is a question of horses, not men, and none can except new mounts by purchases made north.
As to arms, I will do my best to secure you the best at the earliest possible moment. I am endeavoring to get a depot of cavalry arms, ammunition, and equipments established here for the prompt supply of all these things.
Galbraith was ordered to join you with all the he had with him, and I will endeavor as far as possible to keep your whole regiment at all times within immediate control.
Now, "pitch in," colonel, and help yourself to horses; "keep your power dry" and give the guerrillas "thunder" wherever you can fired them.
WM. SOOY MITH,
Brigadier General, Chief of Cavalry, Mil. Div. of the Mississippi.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
Memphis, Tenn., March 14, 1864.
GENERAL: I am somewhat suddenly called by General Grant to Nashville. I must leave at once, and after full reflection on the state of affairs in the department since our Meridian trip, I am sure we can safety spare 15,000 men from the river to re-enforce the army in the field, headquarters Huntsville.
I have therefore order General McPherson to assemble two division of his corps at Cairo, Ill., ready for embarkation up the Tennessee to join me at Huntsville, and, as you know, the fragment of Veatch's division is also in motion for the same destination. I leave you to command on the river, and without distribution the corps organization I give you the command of all my troops on the river. You can make your headquarters anywhere you choose on the river from Memphis to Natchez, but it may be Memphis, for the