HEADQUARTERS POST AND DEFENSES,
Vicksburg, Miss., April 26, 1864.
Major General C. C. WASHBURN,
Commanding District of West Tennessee:
GENERAL: Your dispatch by the hand of Major Morgan is received and being acted on as far as practicable. I send you 575 men, mounted and equipped, leaving me about 400 for this post, and these rather poorly mounted. I send also the dismounted men of the Fourth Iowa, numbering about 230 more. I am sorry your information was such as to lead you to expect so many men from here, but such is the condition of affairs. The last raid of General Sherman to Meridian has told severely on the horses of this command. I do not deem it safe, with my extended line, to reduce my cavalry force any more, as I will now be scarcely able to do more than picket the several roads leading to the city. I require about 2,500 horses and carbines to equip this command. I would be obliged to your if you can assist in procuring them. Your old regiment has only 125 serviceable horses. I am extremely desirous to assist Colonel Stephens in his efforts in refitting his regiment. I inclose to you the nearest information I have as to the strength and condition of the enemy's cavalry, together with some other information that I consider reliable, which may be of some service to you.*
Accept my congratulations in having you so near a neighbor.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
NASHVILLE, TENN., April 26, 1864.
General M. C. MEIGS,
DEAR GENERAL: Yours of April 20 is at hand. General Allen, Colonel Donaldson, and Mr. Anderson are doing all that men can. I think we all comprehend the problem. Nashville is abundantly supplied, and our business is now to feed our men and animals on the front line and accumulate a surplus to warrant our departure. I have already doubled the daily supply of cars out, and have made their loads more in accordance with our wants. Our reports show in Thomas' department 230,000 rations issued to citizens in a month. Now, those citizens are of doubtful use to us in war, and, laying aside the humanities, I would rather have those rations in our warehouses at Chattanooga and Ringgold. Cattle, too, are being driven, and troops marching.
If I only could count on a few more days, I would have a thirty days' start, but I may have no move on the 2nd of May, with barely enough to warrant the more, and beef-cattle and salt, on which we may have to live, come forward too slowly.
Commissaries are too apt to think their work done when the vouchers of purchase are in due form and the price in Chicago or the moon is cheap. But all are laboring now to the one end, and I am content.
Colonel McCallum has not yet come. General Thomas reports one gun-boat done and two others approaching completion on the Tennessee.
*Inclosures not found.