to the Mississippi River bottom, arrest and dismount one Captain Reasons and Lieutenant Edwards, and the men in company with them, and all others found absent from their commands without proper authority, and subject to conscription, and take them to Tupelo. The general also directs that you will order your ordnance and wagon train to Tupelo, and with the balance of your command will sweep the department of the major-general commanding from the Mississippi River and the southern boundary (Tallahatchie River), arresting all officers and men found absent form their commands without legal authority, and all men subject to conscription, and will arrive with your command at Tupelo by the 4th or 5th of May. You will send forward your quartermaster for the purpose of assisting in collecting forage at Tupelo for your command. The general also directs that your order Captains Regers and Wimberly's and all other unattached companies to report to him at Tupelo by the 4th or 5th of May.
You will order Captain W. H. Forrest to report to the general commanding at Tupelo, and will send and have the men with him arrested and taken to Tupelo. The prisoners and artillery will b sent to Columbus, where the artillery will remain until filled up.
J. P. STRANGE,
CONFIDENTIAL.] HEADQUARTERS LEE'S CAVALRY,
Tuscaloosa, Ala., April 20, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel T. M. JACK,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Demopolis, Ala.:
COLONEL: I have received no reply as yet to my communication with reference to removing my headquarters and the expedition proposed into Middle Tennessee and Kentucky, but hope to hear to-day. I urge that the Memphis and Charleston Railroad be at once completed to Corinth to facilitate furnishing supplies near the Tennessee River in case any movement is contemplated in that direction; it is the only way forage, &c., can be furnished, as the Tennessee Valley is exhausted.
The railroad from Corinth to Barton Station, 28 miles west of Tuscumbia, on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, is but little out of order and can be easily repaired. This I consider all-important, looking to future operations.
The move indicated I consider important, as it will divert a large force to garrison the railroad and to follow after the expeditions and so weaken the force at Chattanooga as to enable General Johnston to beat it. If the enemy do not garrison the railroad heavily it can be destroyed.
I do not think there is any move contemplated in Mississippi by the enemy, and that their entire strength will be brought to bear in Virginia Georgia, and that the two battles there will materially affect the grand result, whereas any small expedition in Mississippi or Alabama will be subservient to those in Virginia and Georgia. A flank move from this department will disarrange all their plans. I also ask that direction be given to furnish wagons, &c., for the pontoon train now being built by Captain Wintter, near Gainesville,