ful avenue supply them; then to proceed to the mouth to the Yazoo, and after possessing ourselves of the latest and most authentic information form naval officers now there, to land our whole force on the Mississippi side and then reach the point where the Vicksburg and Jackson Railroad crosses the Brig Black (F), after which to attack Vicksburg by land while the gunboats assault it by water.
It may be necessary (looking to Grant's approach) before attacking Vicksburg to reduce the battery at Haines' Bluff first, so as to enable some of the lighter gunboats and transport to ascend the Yazoo and communicate with General Grant.
The detailed manner of accomplishing these results will be communicated in due season, and these general points are only made known at this time that commanders may study the maps, and also that, in the event of non-receipt of orders, all may act in perfect concert by following the general movement, unless specially detached.
You all now here the same map, so that no mistakes or confusion need result from different names of localities. All possible preparations as to wagons, provisions, axes, and entrenching tools should be made in advance, so that then we do land there will be no want of them. When we begin to act on the shore we must do the work quickly and effectually.
The gunboats under Admiral Porter will do their full share, and I feel assured that the army will not fall short in its work. Division commanders may read this to regimental commanders and furnish brigade commanders a copy. They should also cause as many copies of the map to be made on the same scale as possible, being very careful in copying the names.
The points market E and G (Allen's and Mount Alban's) are evidently strategic points that will figure in our future operations, and these position should be carefully studied.
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERIDAN,
Generals FRED. STEELE, GEORGE W. MORGAN,
A. J. SMITH, AND MORGAN L. SMITH,
Commanders of Divisions.
HDQRS. RIGHT WING, 13TH ARMY CORPS,
Numbers 6. Memphis, Tenn., december 13, 1862.
I. The following organization of troops is hereby adopted:
The division now commanded by Brigadier General A. J. Smith is the First Division, and will habitually have the right, or advance.
The division of Brigadier General morgan L. Smith will remain, as now, the Second Division, and will compose, habitually, the center.
The division of General George W. Morgan will be styled the Third Division, and will constitute the left.
Other regiment may arrive, and will be assigned specially to strengthen these division, and the troops now at Helena to be assigned to this wing will compose a fourth division or reserve.
II. Division commanders will forth with make special returns to this office of the strength of their commanders for active service, and will give close and assiduous attention to all the details necessary to make them efficient by land or water. They will have all things ready to embark by water or take the field by or before the 18th.