can give us 500 cavalry and will mount the 100 you gave me for an escort, which I will retain and bring back overland. General McArthur says that the enemy has strengthened his lines along this front and prohibited ingress or egress, which he thinks indicates a movement north, covered by this additional picketing. He say the railroad from Meridian to Jackson is about half finished, and that it will be completed in three weeks; that they are working on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. Hurlbut informed me that a construction train was at Okolona, running south some week or ten days since. Loring's forces are at work on the railroad between Jackson and Meridian. Lee is still at Canton in person. I directed scouts to be sent out immediately, so as to have all information possible by my rerun. Also a cavalry force thrown out to see whether two brigades of cavalry that were at Mechanicsburg are still there or not. The tendency is to overestimate the enemy wherever I go, but I think that if we can find a crossing on the Tombigbee we can whip anything they have got. From information I can gather I am induced to believe our best route is from Grenada to Columbus, thence to Decatur, on the ridge between the Tombigbee and Black warrior. however, we will see.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. M. CORSE,
WASHINGTON, April 8, 1864-3.30 p. m.
I have to-day ordered 40,000 bushels of grain and 700 tons of hay from eastern ports to Pensacola under sealed orders. First shipment to be made by steam, to arrive by the 1st of May; all by the 10th. Also sent by Mississippi and Atlantic orders to Colonel Holabird, chief quartermaster New Orleans, to send a cargo of forage from New Orleans to Pensacola, to be there by the 1st of May to meet any contingency.
M. C. MEIGS,
HDQRS. CHIEF OF CAV., MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Nashville, Tenn., April 8, 1864.
Brigadier General J. H. WILSON,
Chief of Cavalry Bureau, Washington, D. C.:
SIR: I have thus far found it impossible to procure estimates from department chiefs of cavalry for the horses, arms, and equipments that they require, and I have recently sent an officer into each department of this military division to inspect the cavalry and bring back the reports, returns, and estimates required by the orders issued from time to time from these headquarters.
In the absence of all estimates I cannot furnish you even an approximation to the number of horses required for the cavalry of this division, but to supply the dismounted troops now awaiting mounts in this city will require 10,000 horses. As many more will be needed to fit up the cavalry commands belonging to the Department