War of the Rebellion: Serial 059 Page 0485 Chapter XLIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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two regiments at Cairo on their way to the Department of the Gulf, which I would detain for a few days as they pass here but for the miserable fiasco on Red River. They are probably wanted there worse than I want them.

I am, general, your obedient servant,

C. C. WASHBURN,

Major-General.

CONFIDENTIAL.] HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

Nashville, Tenn., April 24, 1864.

General C. C. WASHBURN,

Commanding District of Memphis:

GENERAL: Yours of April 21 from Cairo is this moment received. I answered your dispatch the minute it came, in hopes it would catch you at Cairo, but am glad you hurried down.

There should be at Memphis-

Buckland's brigade, entire............................. 2,000

Three white regiments (103rd Illinois one).............. 1,500

Kappner's negro regiment, Fort Pickering............... 1,200

Chetlain's black brigade............................... 2,000

Grierson's division of cavalry, at least............... 4,000

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Total..................................................10,700

We have never taken any of Grierson's cavalry from Memphis, and it amounted to nearly 10,000, with over 7,000 horse, before the Smith expedition. What has become of them? Please make close inquiry.

I know our troops fall off fearfully, but I cannot imagine how such discrepancies occur. Smith reported bringing in from his Okolona trip 4,000 animals. None have been brought away save 600 recently sent to General Allen.

I cannot understand General Hurlbut's reports. He took a short leave of absence when I first came to Nashville, and hearing that Forrest had passed above Memphis, wrote me that Grierson was after him, supported by infantry. Every report since, the strength of the cavalry has fallen off more and more, until now you report it down to 1,100. Please examine into it and let me know as early as possible the exact truth. My opinion is by a close examination you will find at Memphis full 7,000 good men, beside the garrison of Fort Pickering and the militia.

I know that the furloughed veterans have reduced our armies terribly. Mine and Grant's are far less than the world suppose, and we have to keep the truth to ourselves. I expect that I will have to advance against Joe Johnston with one, and it may be three, divisions less than we calculated.

Do the best you can, but try and not exaggerate the forces of the enemy or your own weakness, but use your force to the best advantage. Don't let Forrest insult you by passing in sight almost of your command. At the time I had Memphis in 1862, I had but one division and one regiment, 600 cavalry (Grierson's), and Van Dorn was at Holly Springs with a division of cavalry and near 8,000 infantry.

More than one-half my cavalry here is dismounted and it is almost impossible to procure horses. I don't see how our cavalry destroy so