have prevented the forwarding of Government stores promptly. The difficulty that exists in the procuring of a sufficient quantity of hay will soon be obtained to a certain extent, as a large supply is now being secured (under contract) from the prairies for Government use. Although this hay is of an inferior quality, yet it will assist in recuperating the animals.
IV. The improper manner in which horses are sometimes shipped at Saint Louis to be transferred to this department should be remedied. I found 106 horses en route for this department upon the deck of a barge, without any covering, or anything to feed from other than the deck of the barge. By this fully one-half of the grain is wasted by becoming mixed with the filth made by the animals. Feed-troughs should be constructed upon these barges running the length of the boat along the center of the deck, and the horses tired upon either side. There should also be constructed a light framework of wood, capable of supporting a sufficient amount of tarpaulin to make an awning over the entire deck, for the purpose of protecting the horses from the sun, which has a very debilitating effect upon them when exposed for several days so closely packed. The horses that I here speak of were to be cared for by quartermaster's employes, but the amount of care bestowed upon them was very small indeed. Some days the horses were not watered at all. Horses being so transported should be under the charge of competent, faithful, and energetic men, who will devote that amount of care and attention necessary. It is reported here that several lots of horses that have been shipped for their department have been seized by order of the commanding general of the District of Memphis, thereby causing much delay in the mounting of that portion of the cavalry command which is dismounted.
J. E. COWAN,
Major and Acting Assistant Inspector-General.
MEMPHIS, TENN., August 11, 1864-9 a. m.
Major General FREDERICK STEELE,
Commanding Department of Arkansas:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report having delivered your dispatch addressed to General Washburn to his acting assistant adjutant-general, Captain C. H. Townsend, General W. being at Holly Springs, from which placed he will return this afternoon. I inclose receipt of dispatch. From Captain Townsend I glean the following: Dick Taylor crossed near Port Hudson with 12,000 men, made for Meridian or vicinity, and so by rail to Oxford, which he is fortifying, and where he is in command. Forrest was badly wounded in his fight with General A. J. Smith and cannot ride. General A. J. Smith left here on Sunday for Holly Springs with orders to fight Forrest and whip him. He has further orders to go to Oxford to fight Taylor, proceed to Okolona, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, destroy the railroad there, and from thence to Decatur, and from thence to General Sherman at Atlanta. From there he will send all his cavalry back (6,000). All this is expected to occupy six weeks, until which time there will be no cavalry here. Lee has gone to Hood, taking with him some 10,000 men. This leaves Taylor in command of some 15,000 to 18,000 men. Smith will have, says, 15,000 men (infantry). This clears this district of men, except some 100-days' men and a colored brigade. A rumor prevailed