War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 0901 Chapter LIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.- UNION.

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the year round, and have no trouble in making Batesville in the winter. It is two days' trip to Jacksonport. The Little Red is also navigable in high water to Searcy.

Very respectfully, &c.,




New Orleans, La., December 21, 1864.

Major General N. J. T. DANA,

Memphis, Tenn.:

SIR: I wish you as soon as possible to organize an expedition for the purpose of driving off the guerrillas and partisan bands under Harrison and lee that now infest the upper parishes of Louisiana between the Washita and Mississippi Rivers, and desire that you will organize a force for that purpose as soon as possible. If you need it, some cavalry can be sent to you from the Department of the Gulf. General Reynolds will be instructed to make a demonstration from Pine Bluff to distracts the attention of the rebels from your movements. You can communication directly with General Reynolds and arrange the time of your operation.


Major-General, Commanding.


Memphis, Tenn., December 21, 1864.

Lieutenant Colonel C. T. CHRISTENSEN,

Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. Mil. Div. of West Miss., New Orleans, La.:

SIR: I advised you on 9th instant that immediately on my arrival here I received an order by telegraph from Major-General Halleck to break up the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, and forwarded a copy of the dispatch, with my reply, asking for Winslow's division of cavalry, which was en route from Saint Louis, via Cairo, to Nashville, and his answer, saying that the troops in Missouri would report to Major-General Thomas. To move against the Mobile and Ohio Railroad with the very small available infantry force here could have found no justification, nor would it have been productive of anything but disaster. I have complied with General Halleck's orders by what I consider a hazardous undertaking. This morning my whole effective cavalry force, about 3,500 men, under command of Brigadier-General Grierson, moved with orders by forced marches to strike the railroad above Tupelo, and if possible destroy it to Meridian; then if safe to dash at Cahawba and release our prisoners, returning to this place; or, if necessary, to Vicksburg, Natchez, or even Pensacola. Please communicate with the commander at Pensacola and Mobile Bay.

From reports received, I believe the enemy to have between 5,000 and 6,000 men at Corinth, 2,000 under Wirt Adams at Holly Springs, and 3,000 at Oxford, with strong guards along the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. In inclose copy of my instructions to General Grierson.

It will be seen that the expedition was to have commenced movement two days ago, but the weather has been so rainy as not only to increase rapidly the sick list of men and horses, but actually