report from me since I left Demopolis. I have reported every week by courier-line established from this point to Tupelo, Miss.
The enemy still occupy Decatur with a strong force on the opposite side of the river. General Roddey has invested the place with his cavalry force. In the present condition of affairs I do not feel safe in scattering my force, and therefore keep them together so as to be able to retreat if necessary. This affair will be settled in a few days, when I can attend to my duties here.
I have the honor to request that with my command need the assistance of the citizens, which will be cheerfully given, I be permitted to build the Memphis and Charleston Railroad from Corinth to Cherokee, Ala., which I think, in a military point of view, to be highly essential to the army in Mississippi, and it would be na act of humanity to the citizens in the Tennessee Valley, who are almost on the point of starvation, and many of them have not nor can they procure subsistence for their families to supply them until wheat harvest; among them, general, some of your own relatives and friends.
The following is a letter to me inclosing the report of Captain Goodwin, sent by Colonel Estes to examine the road from Corinth to Cherokee:
MOUNT HOPE, ALA., April 20, 1864.
Colonel Estes ordered me to send a copy of my report* in regard tot eh Memphis and Charleston Railroad to you, and request that you would write to General Polk on the subject, urging the necessity of having the road repaired immediately.
The opinion of the citizens on the rod is that it could be repaired in thirty days with a small force. The Mobile and Ohio Railway will be repaired to Corinth in a month, so some of the hands report. Colonel Estes thinks it very essential in a military point of view, as well as for the benefit of the citizens, that the road should be repaired.
F. L. B. GOODWIN,
Very respectfully, colonel,
Colonel, Commanding 27th Alabama Regiment Volunteers.
HEADQUARTERS FORREST'S CAVALRY, Jackson, Tenn., April 21, 1864.
(Via Holly Springs, April 23, 1864; via Meridian, April 25, 1864.
Received Demopolis, April 25, 1864.)
Colonel THOMAS M. JACK,
Your dispatch of the 19th is just received. McCulloch's brigade form Holly Springs has been ordered to move to Grenada, but owing to long need rapid marches will be compelled to advance slowly. Twelve transports loaded with infantry have passed up the Mississippi River; destination not known. All quiet in this section and on Tennessee River.
N. B. FORREST,
*See p. 806.