War of the Rebellion: Serial 104 Page 0236 KY., S.W. VA., TENN., N. & C. GA., MISS., ALA., & W.FLA.

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than here. Captain Walker writes that he would proceed to Louisville and communicate with General G. H. Thomas. On the 28th [27th] of March I sent dispatch to Major-General Halleck, of which the following is a copy.* As no more cavalry can be obtained from Arkansas, I deem it absolutely necessary to obtain that from Memphis in order to make an effective force for operations from Mobile Bay. The effective strength of what we already have, after deducing the detachments which must necessarily be made for duty with the infantry commanders, will not exceed 6,000 men. General Knipe has embarked in person for the front, and the command is being urged forward as rapidly as possible. About 200 horses have arrived since I wrote you.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

B. H. GRIERSON,

Brevet Major-General.

HDQRS. CAVALRY DIV., DISTRICT OF WEST TENNESSEE,

Memphis, Tenn., April 4, 1865.

Commanding OFFICER DETACHMENT CAVALRY DIVISION,

OPERATING ON MEMPHIS AND CHARLESTON RAILROAD,

Collierville, Tenn.:

SIR: In future two things must be considered in all your operations: First. That the light patrols scouting the line of the railroad should be instructed to pick up information, and therefore determine the direction where and time when you will send larger parties with the expectation of finding an enemy. These patrols need not, except upon the receipt of additional information, be increased in size. Second. Patrols sent to any distance upon either flank of the railroad should consist of not less, than 100 men, properly officered, and this number should be increased as information received gives evidence of any force in the neighborhood, as did the evidence yesterday. I cannot understand how thirty men armed with Spencer carbines could be driven by about sixty rebels armed with Enfield rifles. I desire an immediate investigation and report of this affair as well as the name of the non-commissioned officer on whom the command devolved after the death of the lieutenant. I desire also that the orders directing military reports from any post or brigade on the railroad to be sent to this office direct be peremptorily enforced. Ambuscades must be avoided. In the instructions to officers commanding patrols or scouts the fact must be explicitly stated that at points where ambuscades are possible the greatest care must be observed by flanking and keeping the advance well out to prevent anything like surprise. I am sensitive, colonel, about ambushes and surprises, and do not believe either are never necessary, and not often excusable.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. D. OSBAND,

Colonel Third U. S. Colored Cavalry, Commanding Cavalry Division.

HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

In the Field, Goldsborough, N. C., April 5, 1865.

Major General GEORGE H. THOMAS,

Commanding Department of the Cumberland:

DEAR GENERAL: I can hardly help smiling when I contemplate my command. It is decidedly mixed. I believe, but am not certain, that

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* See p.105.

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