I am very much pleased with Mr. W. J. Stevens. He is industrious, honest and shows himself qualified for the position I gave him. General Quinby and all the officers at Columbus speak in the highest terms of him.
Although I have not been able to bring down any private freight from Columbus the passenger and back freight up to the first of this month was over $33,000, and will, I think, reach $40,000 this month; all this of course is entirely independent of Government freight and transportation of troops. On the Memphis and Charleston road I have not been so fortunate. There has been almost constant interruption east of Tuscumbia; bridges and water-tanks burned, trains fired into, track torn up, and two engines run off and badly damaged, which, however I have in running order again. I have had to rebuild seven bridges this month between Tuscumbia and Decatur.
Last Sunday the train was fired into near Courtland, about 150 shots striking the engine and cars, wounding the conductor mortally, the fireman and one of the brakemen slightly. The engine and train, however, were brought in all right.
Yesterday the train was attacked near Trinity, captured and burned. One of the rails was taken up and the engine run off the track as it was returning from Decatur. There was very little of value in the train and not over seven cars. There was a guard of 25 men, who fought desperately and killed, as I understand, 25 or 30 of the rebels, held them at bay for some time, sent for re-enforcements, and finally drove them off. The firemen and 3 or 4 of our soldiers were taken prisoners. I have sent out a force and got the engine on the track, and it is being brought in to-day. It is badly burned and will require a new set of flues before it can be used. The water was all let out of the boiler and a large fire built in the furnace so that the boiler was made re-hot. Some one had hold of it who evidently knew the most effectual method of using up a locomotive in a short time.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. B. McPHERSON
WASHINGTON, D. C., August 25, 1862.
Major-General GRANT, Corinth:
The Secretary of War directs that you seize, in the name of the United States, all cotton purchased or shipped by officers or men in the military service of the United States, and turn the same over to the Quartermaster's Department, to be sold on account of whomsoever it may concern.
H. W. HALLECK.
(Same to Generals Buell and Curtis.)