War of the Rebellion: Serial 059 Page 0275 Chapter XLIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

Memphis, Tenn., April 6, 1864.

Major General F. STEELE,

Commanding Department of Arkansas, Little Rock, Ark.:

GENERAL: A considerable body of Confederates, say from 700 to 1,000, under Brigadier-General McRae, infest the country back of Memphis toward Crowley's Ridge.

If it be convenient so to do, it would be well to establish a post of mounted men (one regiment) at Mound City, 4 miles above Memphis. Supplies could be drawn readily from Memphis, and additional force furnished from time to time if required. Either Hopefield or Mound City would do as a post.

Your obedient servant,

S. A. HURLBUT,

Major-General.

MEMPHIS, April 6, 1864.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN:

Arrived 11.30 a. m. Saw General Hurlbut. The cavalry have made several efforts to reach the Hatchie, but failed. General Hurlbut will send them out south of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad to-morrow, with orders to reach Bolivar and open communication with Veatch. The force of the enemy I think is exaggerated, but underrated by yourself. Forrest evidently has Chalmers or some one else south of the Hatchie holding his line of retreat. I leave immediately.

JOHN M. CORSE,

Brigadier-General.

HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

Memphis, Tenn., April 6, 1864.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN,

Commanding Mil. Div. of the Mississippi, Nashville, Tenn.:

GENERAL: Corse brought your orders.* I shall throw Grierson along Coldwater to Pocahontas and Bolivar. He found the enemy too strong on the Raleigh and Somerville route. The Third Michigan and Seventh Kansas Cavalry, now in Saint Louis, should be mounted and forwarded at once. With them Forrest can be successfully attacked; without them, his force is too strong.

It is not likely that A. J. Smith will get away from Red River before the 20th April. With 10,000 men and a covering regiment of cavalry he can move to Columbus via Grenada, or, which would be better, to Panola, there to be joined by cavalry from here.

The country between Hatchie and La Grange is open for the rebels, and there is talk of Lee coming up. With Lee and Loring both in his way, Smith cannot safely forage on his march. Grierson has orders to force communication with Veatch. Forrest's strength is not less than 6,000. I do not expect to do more then keep him north until proper force comes.

A good regiment should be placed at Cairo, and another at Columbus, so as to cover Government stores.

S. A. HURLBUT,

Major-General.

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*Of April 3, p. 244.

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