War of the Rebellion: Serial 099 Page 0232 OPERATIONS IN N. C., S. C., S. GA., AND E. FLA. Chapter LIX.

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[Confidential.]

56.] COLUMBUS, OHIO, January 15, 1865.

Colonel LEWIS B. PARSONS:

The Messrs. Jewett have consented to my absence. If desired I will therefore be at your service.

T. LOUGH.

57.] ON BOARD STEAM-BOAT BERTHA,

Tennessee River, January 17, 1865.

Major-General COUCH,

Commanding Twenty-third Corps:

GENERAL: I am commanded by the Assistant Secretary of War to come out and provide for the transportation of the Twenty-third Army Corps. Receiving no definite information at Louisville from General Thomas, as the Assistant Secretary through would certainly be the case, I hae provided such boats as seemed necessary, and have now with me twenty boats moving up. Of thems ay six or seven are loaded in full or part with troops or stores. If they can be unloaded at Clifton you will have, I think, ample transportation. If they cannot be unloaded, you can, I think, ship all the balance of your army as far as Paducah, where I will prepare an ample number of boats, of which you can take what you require to make your army comfortable. I think Captain Edwards, assistant quartermaster, can render all the assistance necessary up the river and that I had best go to prepare for you on the Ohio.

I am, very respectfully,

LEWIS B. PARSONS,

Colonel and Chief of Rail and River Transportation.

P. S. -If this meets General Couch on the river, would it not be well to send it forward to the commanding officer at Clifton?

58.] ON BOARD STEAM-BOAT BERTHA,

Tennessee River, January 17, 1865.

Captain ARTHUR EDWARDS,

Assistant Quartermaster:

You will immediately proceed in charge the fleet now moving up the river for the transportation of the remaining portion of General Schofield's army corps, now at Clifton. You will have unloaded at Clifton as far as possible the five or six boats now in part loaded with cattle and stores, with all the dispatch possible, and immediately embark the troops thereon, or on as many as shall be necessary. The boats will then proceed to the mouth of the river, where, or on the way up, they will meet with five to seven additional transports which will receive such portions of the corps as its shall be thought best to embark thereon. Having embarked all these troops you will immediately proceed up the Ohio until the commanding general shall give orders for disembarkation. You will take great care to guard against accident by fire and otherwise. You will advise me by telegraph from Johsonville, Paducah,