October 21, 1863: Sherman brushes Forrest aside

Nathan Bedford Forrest

Sherman continues his journey to Tennessee. Forrest’s cavalry doesn’t present much of an obstacle.

Official Records:

Report of Maj. General William T. Sherman, U. S. Army, commanding Fifteenth Army Corps, of skirmish at Barton’s Station, October 20.
MEMPHIS, Tennessee, October 21, 1863. (Received 8.40 p.m.,23d.)

Major-General HALLECK:

General Sherman telegraphs from Brear Creek:

IUKA, October 21, 1863.

My advance found Forrest’s Cavalry, 400 strong, at Barton’s Station, and whipped them handsomely yesterday, killing 2 and taking 9 prisoners. Our loss, 1 killed and 3 wounded slightly-all of the Fifth Ohio Cavalry, which acted most handsomely. The Tennessee River is up 8 feet on the shoals. I must cross over to communicate with Nashville and Chattanooga, and must have a steam ferry-boat. I will keep a regiment at Eastport. Wheeler, 10,000 strong, is near Decatur. I hope he will oppose my advance, but think he will swing up on my flank. My advance is at Cane Creek.


I send by this boat dispatch to Porter and Colonel Allen for a ferry-boat to be sent up, and hope it may be hurried forward; otherwise, after crossing, Sherman will be beyond reach of supplies, of which he has now fifteen days’ on wagon train.

(Copy to General Grant.)

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