with him. If so, Steele will hae to get all the assistance he can to hold his own. Reynolds is at the mouth of White River with two brigades, with orders to prevent the enemy from accomplishing their peremptory orders of Jeff. Davis to cross to the east side, a thing we have prevented for three months. They have tried it from Morganza to the Arkansas. I am compelled to keep transportation ready to respond to calls from Reynolds for assistance. Besides Dennis' troops and two white regiments from Natchez, he has the Fifty-third and Sixty-sixth Colored from here up White River.
When I get to Memphis you may expect more howling against me. I shall certainly put a stopper on trade, comfort, and communication with the enemy, even at the risk of "going under" by the weight of Washburn's political friends and the cotton interest. It is utterly impracticable for cotton and efficient war, loyalty and traitorous traffic to grow together and thrive equally in t he same crop. Don't be concerned about Lieutenant-Colonel Clark. I being on my guard will try not to offend his amour propre, and will be ready to prevent any undue assumption of powers which I know you do not wish him to exercise. I feel under much obligation, and am truly gratified at your good expressions and opinions. I shall try to retain them, knowing your characteristics and instincts so well that I shall feel satisfied when you find fault with me I am wrong, and nothing shall be wanting on my part to aid you as you desire.
I shall examine the defenses of Memphis closely. I ought to have an engineer officer. I am told the same mistake has been made there that has been made at all river towns. The fort is too large, and requires entirely too large a garrison. This may prevent the building of new works. Can't you have a competent engineer sent to me to see what ought to be done?
Hoping to hear constantly good news of you, truly, your friend,
N. J. T. DANA.
CHIEF QUARTERMASTER'S OFFICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Nashville, Tenn., November 12, 1864.
Major General M. C. MEIGS,
Quartermaster-General, U. S. Army:
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the report of the officer in command of the Quartermaster's Forces recently detached from this depot to aid in defense of Johnsonville.* The men were all volunteers from my division, and, without exaggeration, behaved well. They have all returned to this depot except the section of artillery, which the commanding officer at Johnsonville detains for the present.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. L. DONALDSON,
Bvt. Brigadier General and Chief Quartermaster Dept. of the Cumberland.
OFFICE ASSISTANT-QUARTERMASTER, MILITARY DEPARTMENT,
Nashville, November 11, 1864.
Colonel CHARLES H. IRVIN,
Commanding Brigade, Quartermaster's Forces:
COLONEL: Circumstances have given me the honor of making the first report of active operations by the Quartermaster's Forces organized
*See also Meigs' report, p. 119.