War of the Rebellion: Serial 059 Page 0481 Chapter XLIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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the line should be in working order. In my opinion, this line could be depended upon in all weather, at least during the day for observation, and during the night for signaling. I consider no guard necessary unless movements of the enemy become so threatening that the general commanding will place strong guards at the river crossings or abandon the proposed line.

The field telegraph line hence to Whitesburg, in connection with the proposed line, will place the general in direct communication with any station on the river, and with Decatur. Should the general commanding deem at advisable, the work upon this line may be commenced immediately.

I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

O. H. HOWARD,

Captain and Chief Signal Officer.

APRIL 24, 1864.

Major-General McPHERSON,

Huntsville:

Colonel Rowett reports this morning as follows:

I have reliable information that Widsdom's regiment, of Forrest's command, has arrived at Tuscumbia; three more moving through Iuka. Forrest was ordered south to Okolona, and on the 19th it was countermanded and he was ordered east. He is reported moving east with his entire command. Corn was being hauled to Corinth to feed him. General Veatch reported last night that enemy was moving around to his right.

G. M. DODGE,

Brigadier-General.

APRIL 24, 1864.

Brigadier General J. C. VEATCH,

Decatur:

Colonel Rowett reports this morning that Widsom's regiment, of Forrest's command, has arrived at Tuscumbia; that three more regiments had passed through Iuka, and that a great portion of his command was moving east. If the enemy have left the line of Flint and Danville, scouting parties better be sent out in that direction and ascertain what facts they can. The movement to your right may have something to do with Forrest's move, if true.

G. M. DODGE,

Brigadier-General.

HDQRS. LEFT WING, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

Athens, Ala., April 24, 1864.

Lieutenant Colonel R. ROWETT,

Seventh Illinois, Florence:

I am in receipt of your report of 23rd instant. It is very probable that Forrest may be making this way, but reports from Memphis indicate that he is moving south through La Grange and Saulsbury, crossing the Tallahatchie. He may have sent part of his force through Iuka, thence south. It is very important that we should

31 R R-VOL XXXII, PT III