MEMPHIS, April 24, 1864.
A large amount of cavalry belonging here is at Saint Louis waiting for horses. They had better be sent here at once to assist in garrisoning this place while other troops are after Forrest.
C. C. WASHBURN,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WEST TENNESSEE,
Memphis, Tenn., April 24, 1864.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Mil. Div. of the Mississippi, Nashville, Tenn.:
GENERAL: Since I arrived here yesterday morning I have written and telegraphed to you the condition of affairs and what I propose to do. With the very limited means I have it is difficult to do what ought to be done, but I shall do my best with the means I have.
I have sent three steamers to-day to Vicksburg to bring cavalry from there, and as soon as they arrive I shall move in pursuit of Forrest. They can hardly get here before Friday, and the horses should rest a few hours on shore before starting on a march. Colonel Winslow, with 550 men and 800 horses, has just arrived the men without arms, and the horses are all to be shod. They will be armed with muskets at once and the horses put in marching order.
The cars can be run as far as Moscow, and I propose to run 2,000 infantry to that point on Saturday morning, from which they will march to support the cavalry in the pursuit of Forrest, who is still at or near Jackson. I regret that there should be any delay in moving, but I see no help for it. I intend that my force shall reach Bolivar Sunday night, and shall expect to meet an infantry force there, sent by you from the Tennessee River.
A spy returned last night who was at Bolivar, and went to within a few miles of Corinth. He says that Forrest, with all his force, is at and near Jackson. He also says that the railroad is not repaired to Corinth, but that the cars are running to Tupelo, and they are repairing the road as fast as they can.
General Sturgis reported to-day. I have examined the lines thoroughly to-day. I do not feel much apprehension of an attack here, but I think they mean to menace us to disturb your equanimity. If we should be attacked by a very large force we might have to retire to the fort. On account of the large amount of Government suplies in the city and the prestige which its capture would give the rebs it is very desirable to hold the city, and I shall only in case of attack retire to the fort as a last resort. I have every confidence that we can take care of ourselves here, but as caution is the parent of safety, it is well to look at all the chances.
Suppose I send a column of 5,000 as far as Jackson, 100 miles from here. That will leave me a very small force here. Forrest, being able to move more rapidly than our infantry which I send after him, might swoop down upon us here with his whole force. If you could manage to send 1,000 or 2,000 men from Cairo to arrive about Sunday morning to remain until Sturgis returns it might be a proper measure of prudence. Of that you can judge. There are one or