Whenever I touch the WEST bank of the river I find a strong picket, evidently intended to cover some movement. Forrest was reported at Corinth on the 19th and at Purdy on the 20th. My scouts are men whom I have lately employed. I, therefore, give this information for what it is worth.
Your obedient servant,
(Same to General Grierson.)
ON LITTLE RIVER, ALA., October 24, 1864.
Send Hatch's DIVISION at once, with all the men you can mount and equip, via Stevenson, Ala., and Trenton and Rome, Ga., to join us in the field. The dismounted men to be sent by most direct route, with proper number of officers, to Nashville to be mounted and equipped. Keep your own DIVISION in best possible condition ready for a movement through Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, to join Cavalry Corps here. Make every exertion to get Winslow from Missouri, and augment your force by every available man and officer you can get into the district.
O. O. HOWARD,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Gaylesville, Ala., October 25, 1864.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:
SIR: I do not wish to be considered as in any way adverse to the organization of negro regiments, further than as to its effects on the white race. I do wish the fine race of men that people our Northern States should rule and determine the future destiny of America; but if they prefer trade and gain, and leave to bought substitutes and negroes the fighting (the actual conflict), of course the question is settled, for those who hold the swords and muskets at the end of this war (which has but fairly begun) will have something to say. If negroes are to fight, they, too, will not be content with sliding back into the status of slave or free negro. I much prefer to keep negroes yet for some time to come in a subordinate state, for our prejudices, yours as well as mine, are not yet schooled for absolute equality. Jeff. Davis has succeeded perfectly in inspiring his people with the truth that liberty and government are worth fighting for, that pay and pensions are silly nothings compared to the prize fought for. Now, I would aim to inspire our people also with the same idea -that it is not right to pay $1,000 to some fellow, who will run away, to do his fighting, or to some poor negro, who is thinking of the day of jubilee, but that every young and middle-aged man should be proud of the chance to fight for the stability of his country, without profit and without price; and I would like to see all trade, commerce, and manufactures absolutely cease until this fight is over, and I have no hesitation or concealment in saying that there is not, and should not be, the remotest chance of peace again on this continent