OR, Series 1, Vol. 39, Part 1, Page 796

Headquarters Military Division of the West
In the Field
Gadsden, Ala.
October 24, 1864
General S. Cooper
Adjutant and Inspector General
Richmond, Va.
   I shall leave to-day about 12 m. to join General Hood, who is now en route to the vicinity of Guntersville, on the Tennessee River. At what time and place the army will cross future events will determine. The army of General Sherman is on the road between Dalton and Gadsden, and his advance forces are about fifteen miles distant from Gadsden.
   In view of the present movement a change of base has become necessary, and orders have accordingly been issued transferring it from Jacksonville to Tuscumbia, on the Memphis & Charleston Railroad. To secure our lines of communication and an uninterrupted source of supplies, Lieutenant-General Taylor has been directed to place in complete running order the Mobile & Ohio and the Memphis & Charleston Railroads from Corinth to Tuscumbia, and that all supplies and troops for the army be sent by that route. He has been directed to garrison Corinth and Bear Creek and protect the important points along these lines by block-houses and field-works, with one or more companies of infantry at each. Post officers have been assigned at Tuscumbia, and it has been suggested to General Taylor to assign Brigadier-General Adams, now at Talladega, to the command at Corinth.
   Major-General Forrest, as soon as he has executed his instructions in the destruction of the Northwestern railroad from Nashville to the Tennessee, has been ordered to report immediately to General Hood, in Middle Tennessee, for orders.
   General Taylor has likewise been instructed to confer with their Excellencies Governors Clark, of Mississippi, and Watts, of Alabama, in order to obtain such State troops and militia as may be necessary to secure and protect the important points along our railroad communications. The railroad from Memphis to Corinth {part of the Memphis & Charleston RR} will be destroyed and the iron removed for the purpose of supplying our wants elsewhere. The road to Jacksonville will also be completed {the first part of the extension of the Alabama & Tennessee Rivers RR -- usually called the Blue Mountain RR}, but the rolling-stock will be gradually reduced to the amount used therein prior to the present movement from Jonesborough, and transferred to such roads as may require it for the exigencies of the army.
   Major-General Smith, chief of engineers, has been instructed to confer with General Taylor for the purpose of securing our railroad lines by the proper field-works and block-houses, and also establish such works on the Tennessee River between Eastport and Florence as will guard it against navigation by the enemy. To make this the more effectual, torpedoes will be placed at proper points. These batteries will be armed by 20 and 30 pounder Parrott and rifled guns, will protect the torpedoes, and effectually obstruct the passage of gun-boats. The guns will be protected by strong and heavy traverses. Every precaution possible has been taken to cover our lines of communication and render successful the great object of this campaign.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. T. Beauregard