elers for their own profit. We have not the system of checks that would enable us to detect peculation and fraud. The officers of the Army of the Tennessee have complained bitterly that in all matters pertaining to the railroad they were slighted, and there were some grounds, not intentional on your part, but calculated to raise a prejudice, that after they had come to the relief of the Army of the Cumberland they were denied bread or any facilities from the road. Some even thought you shared this feeling, and had refused them even a passage to or from Nashville.
This resulted from the fact that the conductors and your guards were familiar with your passes, and were not with those of Logan or other commanders of that wing. This made my transportation order manifestly just, putting all department commanders on a just equality.
We have increased the daily cars from about 80 to from 130 to 190. If I can get the average to 150 the road will supply us, and make an accumulation. I wish you to increase the facilities for throwing stores forward to Ringgold, as McPherson, Schofield, and you will have to draw from that common depot. All I can now hope for is to get McPherson to La Fayette, or thereabouts, with twenty days' bread, salt, &c., from Guntersville.
McPherson's two divisions are not yet at Cairo, and in many cases the furloughs were dated after a long delay in the State waiting for payment, so that I can't even tell when they will be up to Clifton; but we are pushing as hard as possible. I want McPherson to have 30,000 men, independent of Garrard's cavalry; but if we can't get these two divisions in time, his force will fall far short. As he and Schofield cover your flanks, I want to make your force as heavy as possible as far out as Dalton, Resaca, and Kingston. By that time we will have a better knowledge of what we will need, and can trim down and send back such as should remain to guard your rear. The only danger I apprehend is from resident guerrillas, and from Forrest coming from the direction of Florence. I did want A. J. Smith on the Tennessee, about Florence, to guard against that danger, but Banks cannot spare him, and Grant orders me to calculate without him. General Corse is here from Red River. The battle up Red River resulted thus wise: The advance cavalry, encumbered with wagons, met the enemy in position 4 miles from Mansfield, where the road forks to Texas. Lee, who commanded the cavalry, sent back for supports. A brigade of infantry was sent, but both cavalry and infantry were driven back in disorder. Another brigade sent forward shared the same fate, and the enemy pursuing struck Franklin, who held them till night. Next day A. J. Smith got up, and a hard fight ensued on the 9th, extending into night. Our troops had the advantage, but in the night both armies retired-ours 40 miles back to Grand Ecore; and the enemy discovering first our retrograde, took advantage of it. So they have the victory. They took all the wagons of the cavalry, over 200, and some eighteen guns, two of which were recovered.
Banks was refitting on the 14th at Grand Ecore, preparing to advance. Nothing from Steele, who, at that date, should have been near Shreveport, on the north and east bank of the river.
I am quite uneasy about Steele, as the movement up Red River has been so slow that all the Texas and Louisiana forces are assembled, and having defeated Banks, may turn against Steele; but still I hope Banks will not pause, but resume his march, and prevent