War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0474 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

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divisions to Memphis in a few days, as soon as I can learn the design of the enemy. Do you want me to command the expedition on Vicksburg or shall I send Sherman?

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief.

OXFORD, MISS, December 8, 1862-10 a.m.

Up to yesterday no infantry had crossed the Tennessee going south from Decatur. Rebel cavalry are busy collecting forage and provisions. On line of railroad from Cherokee to Saltillo there are about 2,000 cavalry. Great numbers of cars have come up from Mobile toward Jackson, Enterprise, Columbus, and Saltillo. At Mobile and Columbus rebels are working night and day on fortifications. The enemy have gone south of Yalabusha River. I will try and learn soon if they intend to stand there. Deserters come in daily from rebel army.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General

Major-General HALLECK, General-in-Chief.

OXFORD, MISS., December 8, 1862. - 10 p.m.

GENERAL: General Sherman will command the expedition down the Mississippi. He will have a force of about 40,000 men. Will land above Vicksburg up the Yazoo, if practicable, and cut the Mississippi Central Railroad and the railroad running east from Vicksburg where they cross Black River. I will co-operate from here, my movements depending on those of the enemy. With the large cavalry force now at my command I will be able to have them show themselves at different points on the Talahatchie and Yalabusha, and where an opportunity occurs make a real attack. After cutting the two railroads General Sherman's movements to secure the ends desired will necessarily be left to his judgment. I will occupy this railroad to Coffeeville.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General, Commanding.

Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, December 9, 1862.

Major-General GRANT, Oxford, Miss.:

As it is possible that Bragg may cross at Decatur and fall upon Corinth the security of that place should be carefully attended to. Do not make the Mississippi expedition so large as to endanger West Tennessee. I think 25,000 men, in addition to the forces to be added from Helena, will be sufficient; but send more if you can spare them. The President may insist upon designating a separate commander; if not, assign such officers as you deem best. Sherman would be my choice as the chief under you.

H. W. HALLECK.

General-in-Chief.