War of the Rebellion: Serial 059 Page 0104 Chapter XLIV. KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA.

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ATHENS, ALA.,

March 21, 1864.

General J. D. STEVENSON,

Decatur:

General Hurlbut, from Memphis, 18th, telegraphs that General Forrest was at Tupelo on the 16th with large force, ready to move to Columbus and Paducah.

By order of General G. M. Dodge:

GEO. E. SPENCER,

Colonel and Chief of Staff.

HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

Pulaski, Tenn., March 21, 1864.

Major GEORGE H. ESTABROOK,

Commanding Seventh Illinois Infantry:

You will move out immediately with your command, proceeding in the direction of Eastport, on the Tennessee River, at which place it is reported that General Forrest is crossing with a large force of the enemy. Your men will be supplied with five days' rations (two in haversacks and three in wagons) and 60 rounds of ammunition. It is very necessary that you gain all reliable information in your power as regards their strength, designs, of what composed, &c., with as little delay as possible. As fast as you receive important information you will send the same by courier to the nearest point on the railroad where there is a telegraph office, and thence send by wire to headquarters Left Wing, Sixteenth Army Corps, at Athens, Ala., as also to these headquarters.

Be prompt and vigilant in you movements, trying, if possible, to capture prisoners from the enemy of whom you can obtain the desired information. Look well to all roads which may lead to your rear, and keep feelers out in every direction to avid being surprised, and also the learn of the enemy. One battalion of the Ninth Ohio Cavalry is now in the vicinity of Florence.

By order of Brigadier General Tw. W. Sweeny, commanding:

LOUIS H. EVERTS,

Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

March 21, 1864.

Major R. R. TOWNES,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Huntsville, Ala.:

I have just received the following dispatch from Lieutenant-Colonel Gage, Twenty-ninth Missouri, commanding expedition to Tennessee River:

We arrived at Cottonville at 2 p. m., 19th. As I could not learn anything of an enemy there, we visited Deposit. There I saw 2 rebels standing picket at a small earth-work on the south side of the river. From there we marched to Fearns' Landijng, where they also have a small guard; we captured 2 prisoners, 1 of them in trying to escape was shot. Shall move up the Tennessee to-morrow. There are only three companies on the other side of the river.

P. J. OSTERHAUS,

Brigadier-General of Volunteers.