all the forces they can collect together, and it behooves General Grant to keep his men near enough for concentration.
General Curtis, on the supposition that Missouri was in danger, has taken one-half of the Helena force back to Saint Louis to be sent to the Iron Mountain; the fact is that there is no considerable force in Arkansas threatening Missouri. General Carr has the other half, say 9,000 men, and expects help from me. I will write him to strengthen his defenses, and no force will attempt to storm his fort where he has heavy ordnance. He has a larger force than I have, and I have a much more important place to defend than Helena is. The boats navigating the river are now assailed above and below. I have sent a force above to Island 21, and now comes a call to send some to a post below. We will have to do something more than merely repel these attacks. We must make the people feel that every attack on a road here will be resented by the destruction of some one of their towns or plantations elsewhere. All adherents of their cause must suffer for these cowardly acts.
I propose to expel ten secession families for every boat fired on, thereby lessening the necessity for fighting boats for their benefit, and will visit on the neighborhood summary punishment. It may sometimes fall on thee wrong head, but it would be folly to send parties of infantry to chase these wanton guerrillas.
So far as the city of Memphis and neighborhood is concerned all is well. Guerrilla bands are being called into Holly Springs, where the enemy is doubtless concentrating for some effort. We are ready for them here.
I rather fear for Bolivar and Jackson. Pemberton's command, though, is confined to Mississippi and Louisiana, and to assume the offensive he would have to enter Tennessee.
Your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WEST TENNESSEE,
Jackson, October 24, 1862.
Respectfully forwarded to Headquarters of the Army for the information of the general-in-chief, embodying as it does a policy, which I approve but have given no order for, in regard to treatment of rebel families as a punishment to prevent firing into boats; also to show the condition of the Helena force, and for the general information contained therein.
U. S. GRANT,
HDQRS. FIRST DIV., DIST. OF WEST TENN.,
Memphis, October 18, 1862.
The Forty-sixth Ohio, Colonel Walcutt, will embark to-night on bard of steamboat ---, and before daylight drop down to a point on the Arkansas shore about 15 miles below this, near Elm Grove Post-Office, and there disembark. He will them proceed to destroy all the houses, farms, and corn fields from that point up to Hopefield. The boat will follow him up and communicate with him at such points as he