Nashville before it was known in Saint Louis, where I reported that I was going before starting.
I do not feel that I have neglected a single duty. My reports to you have averaged at least one a day since leaving Cairo, and there has been scarcely a day that I have not either written or telegraphed to headquarters. I most fully appreciate your justness, general, in the part you have taken, and you may rely upon me to the utmost of my capacity for carrying out all your orders.
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Saint Louis, March 24, 1862.
Major General U. S. GRANT,
Your telegram of the 22d, in relation to medical stores was referred to medical director, who replies that your "acting medical director" is not a commissioned officer, and that such requisitions could not be filled. If you have appointed a citizen to such a position you will immediately discharge him, and have your requisitions hereafter made by a proper officer. The medical officer at Cairo is now forwarding the proper supplies up the Tennessee. I call your attention to gross irregularities in your district in regard to the disposition of the sick and wounded.
A telegram from New Albany to-day says that 200 sick and wounded of General Wallace's division had just been landed in that place, and that there were no hospital arrangements there. By whose order were these sent to New Albany? I ordered them to be sent to Cincinnati, where preparations were made to receive them. Again, large numbers of sick and wounded, which were ordered to be sent to Cincinnati, were sent to Saint Louis, where the hospitals are full to overflowing, and no room for the sick and wounded from Curtis' army. It is impossible for me to have proper provision for the sick and wounded when no regard is paid to my orders and where each one assumes to act upon his own authority. Again, colonels of regiments in your command have been giving furloughs on surgeons' certificates for sixty and ninety days, and in many cases to men who were not sick at all. Of 180 who arrived here a few days ago a medical board decided that more than three-quarters were fit for duty and should be returned to their regiments. There seems to be collusion between the officers and men to give sick leaves to well and hearty men who wish to visit their homes. This should be immediately stopped, and furlough should be given only by yourself, and after a proper examination by a trustworthy medical officer. If this abuse of the furlough system is not promptly checked half of the army will be on furlough.
H. W. HALLECK,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WEST TENNESSEE,
Savannah, March 24, 1862.
Major M. SMITH,
Forty-fifth Illinois Volunteers, Commanding Expedition:
You will proceed with the force under your command to Nichols' Landing, 2 miles back of which it is understood that a large quantity