OR, Series 1, Vol. 39, Part 3, Page 855

Hdqrs. Department of Ala., Miss., and East La.
Selma, October 27, 1864
Col. George W. Brent
Assistant Adjutant-General
  I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication the 23d instant. Major Whitfield, assistant quartermaster, in charge of railroad transportation, was sent several days ago, with all the negro hands which could be withdrawn from Mobile and Demopolis, for the purpose of putting in order the Mobile & Ohio Railroad and Memphis & Charleston road in accordance with the wishes and instructions of the general commanding. Major-General Gardner has been directed to have a suitable block-house erected at Corinth and other important points on the line of railroad communication within his district. At the railroad crossing of Bear Creek General Roddey had better make the necessary defenses, and he being accessible to General Hood the proper orders may be given him directly by General H. One of my staff officers has been sent to North Mississippi and Alabama for the purpose of urging forward the work on the roads. In the construction of field-works, etc., we must rely almost entirely upon the labor of captured negroes, as the section of country in which the work is to be done will afford very few hands, it being almost stripped of slaves. General Forrest has been instructed to place suitable garrison at Corinth, and about 300 men now constitute the garrison. Brigadier-General Adams commands an important district in the department and cannot be spared from his present position without great detriment to the service. Tuscumbia until recently has been the headquarters of General Roddey. It is distant about fourteen miles from Cherokee, the railroad between those places {the Memphis & Charleston} having been entirely destroyed. Colonel Reid will doubtless be the best commander who can now be supplied at Cherokee or Tuscumbia, as the post may be established at the one or the other point. Orders have been given to Major-General Forrest to report to General Hood for duty in Middle Tennessee. Colonel Meriwether has been instructed to complete the railroad to Jacksonville {Alabama & Tennessee River RR}. I had hoped, however; that the general commanding would have suspended the work of this extension. To effect the completion of the road to Jacksonville involves the necessity of taking up the iron from the branch road to Marion {the Cahaba, Marion & Greensboro Railroad}, which is in daily use and of considerable military as well as local importance in transportation of supplies. All men belonging to the Army of Tennessee are sent forward as rapidly as possible, placing them in charge of officers of that army who pass through this place en route to their commands. The road between Memphis and Corinth {the Memphis & Charleston Railroad} has been very effectually destroyed to within a short distance of the former place. All the bridges and the trestle-work have been burned and instructions have been given to render the destruction as complete as possible.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant
R. Taylor