WASHINGTON, October 17, 1864 - 2 p. m.
Memphis, Tenn., via Cairo, Ill.:
Should Forrest move on Paducah or Columbus please assist those places. General Meredith thinks he is about to attack Paducah. Cannot the force you sent up the Tennessee be used temporarily to re-enforce that place?
H. W. HALLECK,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.
MEMPHIS, TENN., October 17, 1864.
Major General O. O. HOWARD:
GENERAL: A reliable scout, just arrived, states as follows: Left Oxford Thursday night; part of Hardee's and Lee's troops were there. The cars are running to Oxford; troops been coming on the cars from Grenada and below. Cavalry were marching from Oxford to Holly Springs; there was quite a number of troops; Fifth and Eighteenth MISSISSIPPI Cavalry and Person's Kentucky Mounted Infantry [Fifth Confederate Infantry] were there. The troops passed out of Holly Springs, part on Hudsonville and part on the Byhalia road. Saw him deliver dispatches to an orderly and order him to take them to General Looney [Colonel Looney] at Somerville without delay. Chalmers left Mount Pleasant about 10 o'clock on Friday. He and his command went on to Macon [Moscow]. Mabry will be at Hernando about Monday night. Re-enforcements are expected from Grenada. Thursday morning Forrest was at Jacinto. Colonel Morton [?], of General Mabry's command, said they were to attack White's Station Sunday night or Monday night. The above information is reliable, and is confirmed from other sources. All is prepared here to give them a warm receptiion. The troops were withdrawn from White's Station last night. I have heavy cavalry patrols out on all the roads. The enrolled militia are under arms, and show considerable patriotism and willingness to move. I nust not omit to mention the hearty co-operation of Commander Townsend, of the U. S. Navy. Every preparation is being made here to meet and give him a warm recption. The houses along the Gayoso Bayou are loop-holed for sharpshooters, and our inner line of defenses constructedof cotton and hay. All is quiet; our patrols see no signs of the enemy. A man in from Corinth late last night says Forrest has plenty of troops there. They were to rest two days, and then march, some said for Memphis, others Kentucky. The prevailing impression is that they are concetrating a heavy force to invade Kentucky. Forrest was himself at Grenada on Friday night and consulted with Dick Taylor. General Marcy, inspector U. S. Army, left here yesterday for north of White River, to see if he can bring me 2,000 troops from there. If I get these I shall feel perfectly safe. The man named as coming from Corinth left there on Thursday. There is no doubt but at least a part of Dick Taylor's forces are here.
M. L. SMITH,
[OCTOBER 17, 1864. - For M. L. Smith to Rosecrans, in relation to recall of A. J. Smith's command from Missiouri, see Vol. XLI.]