My special orders are to repair the Memphis & Charleston Railroad eastward as I progress, as far as Athens, Alabama, to draw supplies by that route, so that, on reaching Athens, we should not be dependent on the roads back to Nashville, already overtaxed by the demand of Rosecrans’s army.
On reaching Memphis, October 2nd, I found that Osterhaus’s division had already gone by rail as far as Corinth, Mississippi. John E. Smith’s division is in the act of starting by cars. The Second Division, commanded by Brigadier-General Giles A. Smith, reached Memphis at the same time with me. The railroad is in fair condition as far as Corinth, ninety-six miles, but the road is badly stocked with locomotives and cars, so that Giles Smith must wait until the cars return before I can start his troops East.