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[40] Sherman to General Veatch, which reached him at the landing near Purdy. I sent up a third despatch to him, which was brought here by General Corse from General Sherman. That despatch never reached General Veatch for the reason that he had come back from Purdy, gone on up the Tennessee and disembarked his troops at Waterloo, Alabama, and was out of reach of my gunboats.

Captain Smith, commanding the Peosta, broke up a rebel recruiting office at Brooklyn, Illinois, a week ago last Sunday. The recruiting office was on board a trading vessel. He destroyed the boat, but saved seven new rebel uniforms that were on it. He could not discover the recruiting agent there, there being so many secesh sympathizers around there.

Question. In your opinion, has General Brayman acted with vigilance and activity, and done all he could with the forces instrusted to him, during these raids?

Answer. So far as I know, he has done all he could do.

Cairo, Illinois, April 24, 1864.

Major-General Steven A. Hurlbut, sworn and examined: by the Chairman:

Question. What is your rank and position in the army?

Answer. I am a Major-General of volunteers, commanding the Sixteenth army corps.

Question. Where have you been stationed?

Answer. I have been stationed at Memphis for the last sixteen months.

Question. How long have you been stationed along the river?

Answer. Ever since the battle of Shiloh. I have commanded at Bolivar and Jackson, Tennessee, until about the twentieth of November, 1862, when I was ordered to Memphis.

Question. Now, with regard to this raid of Forrest, was that raid made in your department?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. Please give us, in your own way, a brief account of that raid?

Answer. Forrest first crossed the Memphis and Charleston Railroad last December. I organized a force in Columbus, and moved it down and drove him out. General Sherman then ordered all the available troops in my command to be got together — leaving very small garrisons at the important points — for the Meridian expedition. I marched and crossed there, and marched back again. Two divisions of my command were then detailed to go up Red River, under General Banks. As an auxiliary to the infantry movement to Meridian, General W. S. Smith came to Memphis and took command of all my cavalry and another brigade which he brought over, all amounting to about seven thousand effective men, to move across the country, drive the enemy's force out, cut his way across to Columbus and Aberdeen, and to go down to the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, and join us at Meridian. He failed to make that junction; was met by Forrest about West-Point, and for some reason or other (I do not know what) retreated and fell back to Memphis. The effect of a retreat, at the rate at which they retreated, and the loss they met with, and the retreating before an inferior force, demoralized the cavalry very seriously. I returned to Memphis about the Three Points, marched, and found that Forrest was organizing a very considerable force, so far as I could find out, with the intention of moving up to West-Tennessee. I had orders from the War Department to send home all the veteran regiments (cavalry especially) as rapidly as possible. I took an inventory of my force, and found that I had about six thousand cavalry to two thousand two hundred horses, which limited the efficiency of the cavalry. I furloughed and sent home the Third Michigan, Second Iowa, Third, Sixth, Seventh, and Ninth Illinois, and distributed their horses among the men that were left, so as to keep men enough always, and more, to mount with horses. Forrest moved up, and crossed the line of the Charleston and Memphis Railroad, toward Jackson, Tennessee, and occupied it. General Grierson was directed by me to go out with his cavalry, feel him, attack him, and cripple him as much as possible. He went out, and reported that he was “a little too strong for him, and he could not touch him.” My effective force at Memphis consisted of two thousand two hundred cavalry, two thousand one hundred white infantry, and two thousand four hundred colored infantry. I had the choice to move out a force sufficiently strong to attack Forrest and leave Memphis open, with its immense amount of government stores, ordnance, hospitals, and every thing of that nature. I became satisfied that if I moved out four thousand men, (which was the lowest I considered safe to send out,) and they should move out fifty or sixty miles into the country, the enemy, being all mounted, would turn that force and come in and occupy Memphis, which I considered would be a greater disaster than to allow Forrest to range in West-Tennessee. I therefore did not send them out, but I kept the cavalry out as far we could go, or dared go. It was not possible to divine precisely what Forrest's intentions were. My own opinion was, that it was his intention to organize a force, cross the Tennessee River, and operate upon General Sherman's line of communication. I was at Cairo at the time Union City was attacked. Four regiments and a battery of one of my divisions, which were ordered up the Tennessee River, were here also. I directed General Brayman to take them and throw them up to Columbus in rear of Forrest when he was at Paducah, but they were peremptorily ordered up the Tennessee River.

Question. Ordered up by General Sherman?

Answer. Yes, sir. The result was, that there was not force enough, in my opinion, in the command on the Mississippi River, from Paducah to Memphis, to operate upon Forrest with any prospect of success.

Question. What was the estimated strength of Forrest's forces?

Answer. Forrest's entire force, according to the best of my information, was between eight

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