Feb 25 1862 Wrote Gen. Cullum, “I wrote you that Genl Nelson’s Div had been sent ot Nashville. Since that I have learned that the head of Genl Buells column arrived there on Monday evening [Feb 24]. The rebels have fallen back to Chattanooga, instead of Murfreesboro as stated in a former letter. I shall go to Nashville immediately after the arrival of the next Mail, should there be no orders to prevent it.
“Two soldiers of the 8th Mo Vols who were disguised and sent to Memphis have just returned. They went by the way of Nashville and Decatur. Saw Beauregard at Decatur, sick. He has since gone to Columbus. They were in Fort Donelson before the attack commenced, and say the force was estimated at Forty thousand.
“Since the battle, the people thro’ the country are much disposed to return to their allegiance. Orders have been given for the evacuation of Columbus. This I learn not only from the men themselves, but from Memphis papers, which they bring with them. I send two of these papers to Genl Halleck.
“I am growing anxious to know what the next move is going to be.
“The Southern papers advise the Columbus forces to fall back on Island No 10 and to Fort Pillow. The force at Memphis is said to be about 12,000.”
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 4, p 286-7
O.R., I, vii, 666