War of the Rebellion: Serial 059 Page 0286 KY., SW., VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter XLIV.

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day begins to break. I have ordered Grierson's cavalry to be at the Fair Ground by daylight.

If the attack be made in force, dismounted, the regiments and batteries should have instructions, if they cannot hold their ground, to retire concentrically on the line of the bayou. We can thus concentrate forces and narrow the front of defense. The enrolled militia will form on their parade ground and cover the levee and main street. If it is necessary to abandon any buildings containing public stores they will be fired.

It may be that this is not true, but my information is of such a character that I believe it. The signal for assembling the militia will not be given until the fact of an attack is ascertained.




April 7, 1864.

Captain C. W. DUSTAN,

Assistant Adjutant-General, District of Memphis:

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to state that the officers of the day report as follows: That the cavalry encamped on the glaces, east of Fort Pickeringn and nearly its whole length, are in the habit of being very noisy after tattoo, and in fact at almost any hour; that shots are frequently fired at all times, and not only create alarm but also endanger the lives of the sentinels on the parapet.

I would further respectfully call your attention to the following:

The great extent of the camps, the number of men and animals, will render the defense very difficult and problematic, should the enemy decide to attack from the Horn Lake road. In that event they will certainly dash over your pickets and enter these camps in ten minutes after the first shot is fired. The panic-stricken crowd will seek safety by running toward the fort, closely followed and mingled with the enemy, and we will have to sacrifice either the lives of our own men outside or the fort. Should we decide on the former, even then it would be very difficult to save the fort, as of course we could not distinguish the enemy from our men and form no estimate of their number or point of attack. While writing this it is reported to me that the cavalry broke en masse in the camps of the colored women and are committing all sorts of outrage. The black is made a man by being trusted with arms, and it is very hard for a man to see his family abused and not to use the arm. I am afraid it will loosen discipline if not render it impossible.

I respectfully request your careful consideration of the above, and remain, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel Second U. S. Heavy Artillery (Colored), Commanding Fort.

ATHENS, April 7, 1864.

Major-General MCPHERSON,


General Clanton has arrived with his force in the valley; is at Somerville and Whitesburg. His pickets are now well up the river. The scouts say he is to form a junction with Forrest at Moulton, and