Thursday, March 24, 1864

Nashville, Tennessee

I have word from General Brayman that Forrest has captured Union City and may be headed for Paducah, Kentucky. Our forces have been alerted and should be able to defend against his raid. Brayman is going with troops to Columbus, Kentucky to fortify our hold on the Mississippi.

I have sent orders to Grierson to have his cavalry and some of Hurlbuts infantry to harass Forrest and try to weaken him by picking of stragglers. The following orders were issued:

The object of your expedition is to hang upon and harass the enemy, with a view of impeding his movements as much as possible. You will not bring him into a general engagement, but rather cut off and capture his foraging parties, stragglers, &c.

Hold your command well in hand, and do not allow yourself to be drawn into any trap or to be surprised. Take any forage or provisions you may find which may be necessary to subsist your command. Extend protection as far as possible to people of known loyalty, and rather forage upon secession sympathizers. You are particularly cautioned against allowing your men to straggle or pillage. Issue and enforce the strictest orders upon this subject, as a deviation from this rule may prove fatal to yourself and command. Look well with reliable scouts to your flanks and rear, as a portion of the enemy’s force is at present south and will endeavor to form a junction with Forrest. Communicate as often as possible by courier or otherwise with the nearest Federal forces, and follow the enemy as long as you consider it safe and expedient. With your excellent knowledge of the country I rely upon your ability to inflict serious injury upou the enemy without much loss to your own command.

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