negroes and tools I can control for the moment to work the road from Okolona to Corinth, and have directed Brigadier-General Roddey to at once impress or hire negroes and tools to repair road from Corinth to Cherokee, and, if possible, to Tuscumbia. I have also directed Brigadier-General Roddey to co-operate with General Hood and do all in his power to divert the enemy's attention by threatening his communications, attacking Huntsville, or such other demonstrations as will best asst General Hood without leaving North Alabama unprotected. His Excellency Governor Harris is here and proposes soon to join you. I will soon send Brigadier General Marcus J. Wright to Tennessee for the purpose of getting out the State reserves. He will be directed to be governed by your views and those of Governor Harris in the execution of his mission, and to report through you to me. General Hood's movement is intended to extend to the occupation of Middle Tennessee, and in that connection your proposed movement will be most advantageous to final result of his campaign.
I have taken steps I hops will in a few days enable me to return McCulloch's brigade to you.
I am, general, very respectfully, &c.,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF ALA., MISS., AND EAST LA.,
Selma, October 23, 1864.
Brigadier General P. D. RODDEY,
Commanding District, &c., Tuscumbia, Ala.:
GENERAL: The lieutenant-general commanding directs me to inform you that 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 renders it necessary to transport all the supplies for the Army of Tennessee by railroad to Cherokee or Tuscumbia, if possible, via Corinth. Owing to the bad condition of Mobile and Ohio Railroad north of Okolona and of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, it becomes absolutely necessary that both these roads shall be immediately repaired. The lieutenant-general commanding therefore directs that you immediately proceed to impress hands and tools to repair the railroad from Corinth to Cherokee, and from Cherokee to Tuscumbia. If you are unable to at once impress or hire negroes for this purpose you will put your troops to work on the railroad, beginning by clearing the track between Corinth and Cherokee of weeds and grass, putting in new cross-ties where necessary, and establishing abundance of water stations along the route. The lieutenant-general commanding has ordered all the negroes at his disposal to be sent to Okolona to work the road from there to Corinth. If you can possibly get out negroes enough to spare any for that work, the lieutenant-general commanding wishes you to turn them over to the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. These repairs are now matters of the first importance, and the lieutenant-general commanding expects you to lend all your energies and influence to their speedy completion. The lieutenant-general directs that in the event of your receiving any orders from General Hood or General Beauregard you will promptly execute them, advising him of their nature. In the event of your receiving no instructions from those officers or until do receive them you are expected to do all in your power to assist General Hood's movement,