French's division is at Lauderdale, on Mobile and Ohio Railroad. Order any Alabama troops you may have to report to the post commandant of Tuscaloosa, and advise me which they are.
I am, general, with great respect, your obedient servant,
COLUMBUS, MISS., April 8, 1864.
Major General S. D. LEE, In the Field:
GENERAL: I am advised by General Johnston that Grierson and Smith are concentrating their troops for a raid down through North Alabama via Jones' Valley. This valley runs northeast and southwest and debouches at Tuscaloosa. Elyton is in that valley. Loring's division is posted at Montevallo, on the railroad above Selma. I have ordered Ferguson to move rapidly to Tuscaloosa, with instructions to scout up the valley. I am informed by General Johnston this morning that he has ordered 900 men of Roddey's cavalry, under Colonel Patterson, to move forward and put himself in observation on the left of the enemy's contemplated movement. Supposing you to be on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, I think your route will be via Ripley, crossing the river on a bridge at Smithville, thence via Fayette. You have already been informed of a reported movement up the Tennessee River in boats to Waterloo. Their force is reported to be 5,000 cavalry and 7,000 infantry; its designation is not known. My opinion is that if the enemy are really intending movement, they will strike at Tuscaloosa first, and then turn toward Selma, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. As information I mention that French's division is held at Lauderdale Station, on the mobile and Ohio Railroad. Keep me advised at Columbus as you cross the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. You will doubtless find forage scarce, but I am informed that there is forage on the Tombigbee River, and you will have to pack it to Tuscaloosa. I am told that there is a good supply in Jones' Valley. It is desirable that you should reach the point indicated as soon as possible. Ensign Weisinger, of Starke's regiment, who takes this, carries dispatches also inclosed to you, for Major-General Forrest, which you will send forward at once by different routes by trusted couriers.
I am, general, with much respect, your obedient servant,
CONFIDENTIAL.] HDQRS. FIRST DIV., FORREST'S CAV. DEPT.,
Jackson, Tenn., April 8, 1864.
Colonel J. J. NEELY, Commanding Brigade, near Whitesville, Tenn.:
COLONEL: The brigadier-general commanding directs that you move on Sunday morning next with your entire brigade (excepting the Seventh Tennessee Cavalry) and Crews' battalion to the vicinity of Raleigh, and make every preparation as if to build a bridge across Wolf River at that place. You will also send a portion of your command on the Big Creek and Moscow road as if intending to cross the river at those places, the object being to impress the enemy with the belief that General Forrest is moving to attack Memphis. You will make no secret of you movement and pretended object. After maneuvering for two or three days you fall back in the direction