CITY POINT, VA., February 17, 1865-5.30 p. m.
(Received 6.30 p. m.)
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Chief of Staff:
If the Second Battalion of the Fourth Missouri Cavalry, ordered by Canby to Vicksburg, has not gone yet I would like to have it sent to Thomas. This would keep the regiment together, and Thomas seems very desirous of getting it.
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Nashville, Tenn., February 17, 1865.
Major General N. B. FORREST, C. S. Army.
District of Mississippi and East Louisiana:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 7th instant. Upon my recommendation the lieutenant general commanding the Armies of the United States approves of the exchange, and I send Colonel J. G. Parkhurst, my provost-marshal-general, arrange the preliminaries. Inclosed herewith I send you a copy of a telegram* received from the lieutenant-general commanding on this subject. By it you will see that the prisoners belonging to your army are to be delivered at City Point or Eastport, as Colonel Ould may decide. I have no objection to your returning to the people living between Corinth and Tuscumbia such subsistence stores as your forces were compelled to take from them during the late retreat of the Confederate army, and am willing that the railroad should be used for that purpose. I cannot, however, consent that your soldiers shall be placed upon such trains, either as operators or guards. Neither do I see any necessity for their being upon the trains. I will guarantee that trains run for the purpose stated only, and, under flag of truce shall not be molested by my troops, provided none of your soldiers are on board, and the people to be benefited are or ought to be to protect them from their own friends and neighbors, the guerrillas.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Major-General, U. S. Army, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH ARMY CORPS,
Huntsville, Ala., February 17, 1865.
Two hundred and fifty rebel cavalry were twenty miles from the river last night, moving from Blountsville toward Whitesburg. It is probable their intention is to cross the river at Whitesburg or to intercept the gun-boats. You will at once send 600 men, with three days' rations and forty rounds of ammunition per man, under command of a good officer, to Whitesburg, to try and intercept this force. It is supposed that they may be surprised and attacked after the moon is up to-night. A gun-boat will be at Whitesburg, on which your force can cross the river if necessary. If the commanding officer of the forces
* See Grant to Thomas, 11.30 p. m. 16th, p. 725.