ng me a letter from General Frederick Steele, who had just reached Helena with Osterhaus's division, and who was temporarily in command, General Curtis having gone to St. Louis.
This letter contained the assurance that he would send from Friar's Point a large force under Brigadier-General A. P. Hovey in the direction of Grenada, aiming to reach the Tallahatchie at Charleston, on the next Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday (December 1st) at furthest.
My command was appointed to start on Wednesday, November 24th, and meantime Major-General S. A. Hurlbut, having reported for duty, was assigned to the command of Memphis, with four regiments of infantry one battery of artillery, two companies of Thielman's cavalry and the certain prospect of soon receiving a number of new regiments, known to be en route.
I marched out of Memphis punctually with three small divisions, taking different roads till we approached the Tallahatchie, when we converged on Wyatt to cross the river, there a bold, deep
regiments, who were to move along the river-bank quietly, and capture the enemy's riverpickets.
General Giles A. Smith then was to drop rapidly below the mouth of the Chickamauga, disembark the rest of his brigade, and dispatch the boats across for fresh loads.
These orders were skillfully executed, and every rebel picket but one was captured.
The balance of General Morgan L. Smith's division was then rapidly ferried across; that of General John E. Smith followed, and by daylight of November 24th two divisions of about eight thousand men were on the east bank of the Tennessee, and had thrown up a very respectable rifle-trench as a tete du pont. As soon as the day dawned, some of the boats were taken from the use of ferrying, and a pontoon-bridge was begun, under the immediate direction of Captain Dresser, the whole planned and supervised by General William F. Smith in person.
A pontoon-bridge was also built at the same time over Chickamauga Creek, near its mouth, giving communic