HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CAIRO,
Columbus, Ky., March 28, 1864.
Major General S. A. HURLBUT:
The enemy are retreating southward. They left Clinton last night. I received a dispatch from Major-General Sherman, who orders General Veatch to cut off Forrest's retreat by landing at Savannah and going to Purdy and the Hatchie. I have telegraphed General Veatch by way of Paducah. He also says he wants Grierson to follow Forrest and attack him at all hazards, and follow him up as far as possible, and orders this word to be sent to him.
Please reach him. I return to Cairo this afternoon.
March 28, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel R. M. SAWYER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Nashville, Tenn.:
Your dispatch is just received. General Veatch was not detained, but passed Paducah at daylight this morning. I know not where Grierson is, but will communicate with him, if possible, as you direct. Forrest and Faulkner are near this place, and I am here expecting attack to-night. I will repeat your order to Captain Pennock to forward by dispatch-boat up the Tennessee.
March 28, 1864 - 11.45 a. m.
Cairo or Mound City:
General Sherman instructs me to convey his order to General Veatch to land at Savannah and proceed to Purdy and the Hatchie to cut off the retreat of Forrest. Please convey this to him by dispatch-boat. Also advise General Veatch that Forrest is still within 12 miles of this place, and we are waiting an attack.
MOUND CITY, March 28, 1864.
As soon as the dispatch-boat arrives, which I sent to Columbus yesterday, I will send her up with General Sherman's order to General Veatch. I have received information from Captain Odlin that a small force of cavalry have crossed the river above this and may attack. I have made all arrangements to meet them.
A. M. PENNOCK,
Fleet Captain, & c.