Kirby Smith from crossing to the north side of Red River. our joint forces are far superior to those of the enemy, and we have also the gun-boats and transports in Red River.
The best fighting was evidently done by my troops, and Admiral Porter writes me that A. J. Smith's command saved Banks' army from utter rout. Banks should have 17,000, Steele 7,000 to 9,000 and Smith 10,000.
The joint force of the enemy is reckoned at 25,000. Grand Ecore is the river town of Natchitoches, a little back from Red River, but on one of the roads leading to Shreveport, and about 40 miles from Natchitoches.
I will be with you by May 1.
W. T. SHERMAN,
NASHVILLE, April 25, 1864.
Major General G. H . THOMAS:
General Grant telegraphs me to be ready May 2. Make dispositions accordingly. McPherson is least ready.
W. T. SHERMAN,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Chattanooga, April 25, 1864.
General Johnson reports as follows:
Scouts just in report that directly in front of Parker's Gap, and only 1 1/2 or 2 miles from it, they found last night a strong picket-line of mounted men, which they claim to have followed for 2 miles to the south of the gap, where it ran up the ridge. Large camp-fires are seen at Red Clay.
General Johnson has been directed to send out a strong reconnoitering party, under a judicious officer, to investigate the report. The party is directed to ascend White Oak Ridge from the side opposite the ont where the scouts report the rebel cavalry touched the ridge, by which it is hoped some of the rebs may be captured. The major-general commanding directs that you also send a party to your right and rear upon the ridge and along it for the same purpose.
WM. D. WHIPPLE,
RINGGOLD, April 25, 1864.
My infantry patrol went within 1 1/2 miles of Parker's Gap, thence east 5 miles to Salem Church, and back, Catoosa Springs, and Stone Church. Saw only 3 rebels. No large bodies have been there. Cavalry scouts men Johnson's party near Parker's Gap. Moved out