HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Nashville, March 1, 1865-12 noon.
Major General J. H . WILSON,
Commanding Cav. Corps, Mil. Div. of the Miss., Gravelly Springs, Ala.:
The following telegram is just received, and is forwarded for your information and guidance.* The major-general commanding directs that you will get your expedition off at once, in obedience to the directions of Lieutenant-General Grant.
ROBT. H. RAMSEY,
OFFICE CHIEF QUARTERMASTER, ARMY OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Eastport, Miss., March 1, 1865.
Brevet Major-General WILSON,
Commanding Cavalry Corps, Gravelly Springs:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your letter of 28th ultimo. The steamers are at your service at any hour you may desire to cross your command. I do not think it practicable to attempt a crossing at this place at this time. There is not space of ground out of water sufficient to hold one division of cavalry. The backwater is quite too deep to get to the hills in the rear of Eastport. If you prefer to cross at Chickasaw you will have no difficulty in landing at that point, and ground sufficient for your whole command. I have three large steamers loaded with hay, which I have retained on board until the river falls a little, or to land at Chickasaw if you should decide to cross at that place. It is not safe to land the 3,000 bales of hay at this landing, and I wish to hold it on board of transports, so as to place it quickly at the place you conclude crossing the river, for the benefit of your stock. There are ten steamers in port for your service, not including the Iron City. No steamers that have arrived here since I learned your command was to cross have been permitted to leave here. I regret to inform you that the large stock barge, capable of carrying 300 horses, sunk on the night of the 27th ultimo. Please inform me when and where you will cross your troops. The river rose two inches last night.
A. J. MACKAY,
Lieutenant Colonel and Chief Quartermaster, Army of the Cumberland.
HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Gravelly Springs, Ala., March 1, 1865.
Chief Quartermaster, Department of the Cumberland:
COLONEL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of to-day. I intend to land two divisions (the Fourth and Second) at Chickasaw as soon as it is possible to get the troops to the landing on this side of the river. General Upton's (Fourth) division will commence the crossing. Please furnish transportation at his request, and direct it to continue crossing night and day until all our troops are over.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. H. WILSON,
*See Grant to Thomas, 10.30 a.m., March 1, p. 805.