HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WEST TENNESSEE,
Memphis, Tenn., November 12, 1864.
Major General N. T. J. DANA, Commanding Sixteenth Corps, Vicksburg:
GENERAL: I inclose you copies of dispatches received to-day from Major-General Halleck and Major General George H. Thomas.*
The execution of these orders takes away all of the troops of Smith's and Mower's divisions and all the cavalry here.
Hatch's division is gone, all except the ineffective, who were left behind when Hatch went, but which will go in a day or two. Part of Winslow's division is with him pursuing Price, but is ordered to Nashville direct, and the detachments here are ordered to join him there. This takes all the cavalry. I am thus left with 2,447 colored infantry, five batteries of twenty-two guns, about 800 white infantry, and 1,200 heavy artillery in the fort. With this force I can probably hold the town against an attacking force of 10,000 men (I can hold the fort against any force they may bring), but should Hood turn his attention this way, you will readily see that I should be in danger of having the town captured. At last accounts he was opposite Florence, but with railroad running to Corinth, and thence to Mobile, he can move in five days from Corinth to Memphis, and such a move I do not regard as improbable. Forrest, with 6,000 or 8,000 men, is in West Tennessee by the last reliable accounts we have. It cannot be that General Sherman intended to take all the cavalry away from here and leave this point so nearly defenseless. There are 500 or 600 Illinois infantry who have been home to vote that will be back here in a day or two. There are at this post about 3,000,000 rations, one-half of which are in the fort; forage is short, and Colonel Clary, depot quartermaster, though constantly urged, assures me that he has found it impossible to accumulate much of a supply, the river has been so low, and he has been drawn on so heavily from other points, but thinks he will be able now to get ahead some.
I am, general, your obedient servant,
C. C. WASHBURN,
WASHINGTON, November 9, 1864-5 p. m.
Major General C. C. WASHBURN, Memphis:
General Grant has sent A. J. Smith and Mower's divisions to General Thomas, on the Tennessee River. All troops on east bank of Mississippi River have been assigned to General Canby's command. As Price is now probably south of the Arkansas, General Reynolds should be able to assist you at Memphis; communicate with him. Thomas will probably attack Beauregard as soon as Smith reaches him.
H. W. HALLECK,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF EASTERN ARKANSAS,
Helena, Ark., November 12, 1864.
Major General C. C. WASHBURN, Commanding District of West Tennessee:
DEAR SIR: With this I have the honor to return to you the letter of General Forrest, with my indorsement thereon. I have also procured
*For Thomas to Washburn, see Vol. XXXIX, Part III, pp. 690, 691, and 707.