THIRD. You will as soon as possible place suitable garrisons at Corinth and Bear Creek. A suitable commander should be sent at once to Corinth. General Beauregard would suggest the name of Brigadier General D. W. Adams, but the selection of a proper commander he leaves to your judgment. Colonel J. C. Reid has been ordered to assume command temporarily of the post at Tuscumbia until you can find a more suitable person.
Fourth. Major-General Forrest, as soon as practicable after executing his present instructions, will promptly report to General J. B. Hood, in Middle Tennessee, for orders.
Fifth. The railroad from Selma to Jacksonville will be completed as early as practicable, as heretofore ordered, but the rolling-stock will be gradually reduced to the amount used thereon prior to the movement of General Hood's army from Jonesborough.
Sixth. All men returning to the army should be sent to Tuscumbia. Before, however, being forwarded they should be properly organized and sent under proper officers. Until the Army of Tennessee shall have passed the Tennessee River the troops returning may be detained to garrison Corinth. All the returning troops now at Oxford will be sent as above directed.
Seventh. The iron between Memphis and Corinth should be removed, commencing at or near Memphis. The road should be destroyed as effectively as possible to prevent its use by the enemy against us.
Eighth. Write to their Excellencies Governors Watts and Clark to furnish you with State troops and militia to cover our railroad lines of communication.
Ninth. A line of couriers has been established at Oxford to communicate with the rear of the army, either by this place (Gadsden) or Blue Mountain.
I have the honor to be, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEORGE WM. BRENT,
Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF ALA., MISS., AND EAST LA.,
Selma, Ala., October 23, 1864.
Major General N. B. FORREST,
Commanding, in the Field, via Corinth, Miss.:
GENERAL: I have had the pleasure of receiving and reading with much interest your detailed report of your late expedition into Tennessee. * Could anything add new luster to your already justly earned reputation I feel assured the complete success of your last expedition would do all that the most ambitious could desire. Permit me, general, to thank you and your noble followers, and to express the hope that all your future expeditions may prove as advantageous to our cause and as hurtful to that of the enemy as your last. General Hood moved on the 21st instant toward Guntersville, on the Tennessee River, and has probably by this time crossed that stream with his army. This movement makes it necessary to supply the Army of Tennessee, via Corinth and Cherokee, to Tuscumbia, and, owing to the bad condition of both the Mobile and Ohio and Memphis and Charleston Railroads, involves the necessity of promptly repairing those roads, establishing water stations on road from Corinth to Cherokee, &c. I have sent all the
* See Part I, p. 542.