HDQRS. LEFT WING, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Athens, Ala., April 27, 1864.
Brigadier General T. W. SWEENY,
Commanding Second Division,
Brigadier General J. C. VEATCH,
Commanding Fourth Division:
I desire to impress upon you the importance of strict vigilance in guarding our trains. After we cross the Tennessee River we will have on our flanks a large cavalry force, who will annoy and, unless we are prepared and on the alert, delay us.
The move I have to make requires celerity on our part, and we must not give this cavalry, which has been placed in our front for the purpose, an opportunity to retard us. Trains must be kept closed up, infantry distributed through men, and such orders given as will make them at all times and under all circumstances safe. The loss of any part would cripple us so as to force a halt, which at this time would be ruinous to us.
I know that I have only to call your attention to this to have your active and constant attention to it.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. M. DODGE,
DECATUR, ALA., April 27, 1864.
Commanding Left Wing, Sixteenth Army Corps, Athens:
Scout Looney came in last night, bringing 14 deserters from Winston County. He says that Roddey is at Sims' Mill, on Moulton and Danville road. Patterson on Decatur and Moulton road at Shoal Creek. Heard nothing of Polk's forces and nothing of any rebel force coming this way from West Tennessee.
JAMES C. VEATCH,
NASHVILLE, April 27, 1864.
General Gresham is ordered to disembark at Clifton, and remain there watching the operations of Forrest, and endeavor to counteract them should he attempt to cross the Tennessee River to threaten our communication until the arrival of another brigade, when he is to push forward and join me via Pulaski and Huntsville.
The brigade which relieves Gresham will remain at Clifton until relieved by another, when it will follow Gresham, and so on successively until the whole of the Second Division is brought forward to the front. The last brigade will come right on through. Hurry up the troops as fast as possible by brigades, or what is eqivalent to a brigade, at a time.
JAS. B. McPHERSON,