marshal there has a guard detailed from my regiment. After leaving this harbor on the morning of the 5th and until his return on the afternoon of the 6th the commander of the Michigan had boarded and searched over a hundred different vessels. Owing to the bad weather and the consequent difficulty in getting her supplies and outfit on board, the steam-tug Burnside, which I character, armed, and manned on the 5th, did not get out of this harbor until the morning of the 6th. Under my direction she cruised about the mouth of Detroit River and the head of Lake Erie during that day, returning here to report on the evening of the 6th. She boarded and searched many vessels, but, like the Michigan, found nothing contraband. I deemed it proper that everything in the nature of naval service should be in the hands of Captain Carter, naval commander, on this lake. My men would not be fit for service on the water in bad weather; for these reasons, and because I had not the proper ordnance for a vessel, I turned the tug Burnside over to Captain Carter, directing him to man and arm her, and use her for cruising purposes in further pursuit of the arms in question. He has used her in that manner, and has reported verbally from time to time up till to-day that nothing had been discovered. After the attention which I have given this matter, and with a little clearer statement of the supposed facts contained in the letter of Colonel James G. Jones, acting assistant provost-marshal-general Indiana, I am impressed with the idea that the only feasible mode of intercepting these arms, if they are really now, or shall be, in transitu, is to keep a constant surveillance over the railroads generally, and over the canal from Toledo particularly, and that this can best be done through the provost-marshals, as at Toledo. The provost-marshal at Cleveland has a detail from my regiment. I am watching the railroads here, but have not understood that the major-general commanding intended me to establish forces along the lake shore except as already especially ordered. I could not see that increased land forces for this purpose were required at Cleveland or Toledo. The tug Burnside, I should suppose, need not be detained longer than this week, and if no new reason for further employing her is developed, I shall deem it proper to discharge her at the end of the period named.
I have the honor to be, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHAS. W. HILL,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WEST TENNESSEE,
Memphis, Tenn., October 11, 1864.
Major General JOSEPH A. MOWER, Commanding Expedition:
Your of the 6th instant, asking that detachments of your command be forwarded, is received. General Washburn has gone to Johnsonville, up Tennessee River, with all the white troops except 700, to meet General Hatch, who went overland with all the cavalry except about 800. This leaves the effective force here about 3,500, mostly colored. We are menaced here by General Chalmers with about 4,000 men, and I think if you wee in my place you would not allow an armed man to leave. I expect General Washburn down to-night, and, of course, will call his attention to your letter.
Your obedient servant,
M. L. SMITH,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.