I will move my headquarters to Memphis, and would go at once except that I deem it of importance to remain here till the return of the expedition, which leaves here to-morrow at daylight. No one but myself knows the details of the arrangements, and as all the information I have given out is not correct, it is proper I should still keep personal control of it. I shall move to Memphis the day after the return of the expedition, if not before. Meanwhile, I have sent a colonel of heavy artillery to Memphis to inspect the defenses, armament, garrison, &c., and to make suggestions and plans. Major-General Reynolds has also gone there to make observation. I have already make requisition on him to send troops there, and I am informed he has sent a brigade. I expect to take all the cavalry here to that point, except two battalions here and one at Natchez. Goodrich Landing and Milliken's Bend will be evacuated, under your instructions of the 18th, and the garrisons drawn in here to supply the place of the cavalry which is going, and the marine regiment which the general informed me when here would soon go.
I take it for granted the part of the programme assigned to General Davidson is being carried out. My part works well. The people commenced day before yesterday to leave Jackson, because a column was coming out from here, and Wood's brigade of cavalry with two batteries passed through there from Livingston to meet us on our approach. The brigade numbered 1,400. To-morrow morning at daylight my cavalry and two batteries, 2,400 strong, will move to Big Black with a pontoon train, and will bridge the stream to-morrow night. Next day two regiments will scout toward Jackson. At night the bridge will be broken up and the whole force, having sent the train back here, will push for Benton, which they will occupy on the 26th, and on that day I shall send a gun-boat and a transport with supplies up the Yazoo to Yazoo City. On the 27th and 28th the force will, if possible, destroy he bridge over Big. Black, and as much of the railroad north of there as possible, carrying away the rails, chairs, spikes, &c., to Yazoo City in the teams of the country, and loading them on the transport. The expedition will probably return here December 1, unless Dick Taylor strongly re-enforces Frank Gardner. I fully count on a serious interruption of the Mississippi Central Railroad.
N. J. T. DANA,
LITTLE ROCK, ARK., November 22, 1864.
Brigadier General E. S. DENNIS,
Would it not be best to send the troops now at Devall's Bluff, instead of waiting for the two regiments here? I think General Reynolds would not have designated these regiments if he had known they were here. I am anxious to keep them a few days in order to finish our works, as without them we have not men enough to fill the ordinary details. Your report to General Reynolds that the two regiments were here was put under cover to me probably by mistake. Please answer immediately, so that I can make preparations accordingly.