determine. The army of General Sherman is on the road between Dalton and Gadsden, and his advance forces are about fifteen miles distant from Gadsden.
In view of the present movement a change of base has become necessary, and orders have accordingly been issued transferring it from Jacksonville to Tuscumbia, on the Memphis, and Charleston Railroad. To secure our lines of communication and an uninterrupted source of supplies, Lieutenant-General Taylor has been directed to place in complete running order the Mobile and Ohio and the Memphis and Charleston Railroads from Corinth to Tuscumbia, and that all supplies and troops for the army be sent by that route. He has been directed to garrison Corinth and Bear Creek and protect the important points along these lines by block-houses and field-works, with one or more companies of infantry at each. Post officers have been assigned at Tuscumbia, and it has been suggested to General Taylor to assign Brigadier-General Adams, now at Talladega, to the commanding at Corinth.
Major-General Forrest, as soon as he has executed his instructions in the destruction of the Northwestern railroad from Nashville to the Tennessee, has been ordered to report immediately to General Hood, in Middle Tennessee for orders.
General Taylor has likewise been instructed to confer with their Excellencies Governors Clark, of Mississippi, and Watt's, of Alabama, in order to obtain such State troops and militia as may be necessary to secure and protect the important points along our railroad communications. The railroad from Memphis to Corinth will be destroyed and the iron removed for the purpose of supplying our wants elsewhere. The road to Jacksonville will also be completed, but the rolling stock will be gradually reduced to the amount used therein prior to the present movement from Jonesborough, and transferred to such roads as may require it for the exigencies of the army.
Major-General Smith, chief of engineers, has been instructed to confer with General Taylor for the purpose of securing our railroad lines by the proper field-works and block-house, and also establish such works on the Tennessee River between Eastport and Florence as will guard it against navigation by the enemy. To make this the more effectual, torpedoes will be placed at proper points. These batteries will be armed by 20 and 30 pounder Parrott and rifled guns, will protect the torpedoes, and effectually obstruct the passage of gun-boats. The guns will be protected by strong and heavy traverses. Every precaution possible has been taken to cover our lines of communication and render successful the great object of this campaign.
The chiefs of the quartermaster's and commissary departments have been instructed to take all necessary and proper measures to send stores and supplies to the points above indicated and co-operate in the movement.
I have the honor to inclose a copy of a letter* addressed to General Hood suggesting the propriety of General Cheatham issuing an address to the citizens of Tennessee on entering that State, setting forth that he comes to that State with his corps and that of Major-General Forrest to aid in their redemption, and calling upon them to co-operate with him in the destruction of the enemy's lines of communication while the main body of the army is engaged in destroying his lines be-
*Memorandum indorsed on original states that the inclosure referred to did not accompany this report. The emission has been supplied from General Beauregard's military papers.