War of the Rebellion: Serial 059 Page 0462 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter XLIV.

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HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WEST TENNESSEE,

Memphis, Tenn., April 23, 1864.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: I report that I arrived here to-day and assumed command. Nothing special to report, except that a reconnaissance made by General Grierson, which returned last night, reports that Forrest, after running his prisoners and plunder down into Mississippi, h ad returned with his whole force, about 8,000 strong, and was near Jackson, Tenn.

I have only 1,800 mounted cavalry here, and that very poor, 2,000 infantry, and 3,500 colored troops, entirely too weak, as you see, to move far aggressively, without leaving Memphis at his mercy. I have advised General Grant and General Sherman fully of the situation here. The rebels have repaired the Mobile and Ohio Railroad north as far as Corinth.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

C. C. WASHBURG,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WEST TENNESSEE,

Memphis, Tenn., April 23, 1864.

Brigadier General JOHN A. RAWLINS,

Chief of Staff:

SIR: I report that I arrived here and assumed command to-day. All quiet in town, but Brigadier-General Grierson, who returned from a scout last night, reports that Forrest, after sending his prisoners and plunder down into Mississippi, had returned with his whole force and was in the neighborhood of Jackson, Tenn. He is reported to have seven brigades, under the following-named brigade commanders, viz: General Bell, Colonel Faulkner, Colonel Duckworth, Colonel Neely, General Chalmers, Colonel Forrest, and General Buford, the last named commanding a division. Forrest's total force is said to be about 8,000 men, all well mounted. In returning into West Tennessee he, of course, means mischief somewhere. I regret that my force here is not sufficient to enable me to move out and assail him. I have only 1,800 very poor cavalry mounted, made up of odds and ends, and about 1,000 dismounted cavalry. The rest of the cavalry force of the Sixteenth Army Corps are at home on furlough; two regiments filled to the maximum, the Third Michigan and Seventh Kansas, reached Saint Louis a month ago on their return, and detained there for horses and arms. My whole troops consist of only 2,000 infantry, white, 600 white artillery, and 3,500 colored troops. You will readily see that this force will allow me to do little but act on the defensive.

Information deemed entirely reliable by Major-General Hurlbut represents that the rebels have repaired the railroad north to Corinth. The road is also said to be in good repair from Corinth west to La Grange. If this is the case, there can be no difficulty in their massing a large force of infantry in a short time at Corinth or La Grange. The brigade of Brigadier-General Mower, which was ordered by General Sherman up here, is likely to be detained by General Banks for an indefinite period.

The massacre at Fort Pillow turns out to be worse than the news-papers have reported. I am taking measures to ascertain the names of officers in command and the regiments engaged in that affair,