War of the Rebellion: Serial 025 Page 0392 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

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soldiers. Do the foraging under written orders from brigade or regimental officers and always under personal charge of a reliable commissioned officer, who shall keep foraging party under his control.

By order of Major General U. S. Grant:


Colonel and Chief of Cavalry.


Oxford, Tenn., December 8, 1862.

Rear-Admiral DAVID D. PORTER,

Commanding U. S. Naval Forces, Cairo, Ill.:

The movement thus far has been eminently successful. General Grant's moving down directly upon the enemy's strong lines behind Tallahatchie while the Helena force appeared unexpectedly on their flank, utterly confounded them, and they are now in full retreat, and we are at a loss where they will bring up. We hope they will halt and reform behind the Yalubusha with Grenada as their center. If so, General Grant can press their front, while I am ordered to take all the spare troops from Memphis and Helena and proceed with all dispatch to Vicksburg.

Time now is the great object. We must not give time for new combinations. I know you will promptly co-operate. It will not be necessary to engage their Vicksburg batteries until I have broken all their inland communication. Then Vicksburg must be attacked by land and water. In this I will defer much to you.

My purpose will be to cut the road to Monroe, La., to Jackson, Miss., and then appear up the Yazoo, threatening the Mississippi Central road where it crosses the Big Black.

These movements will disconcert the enemy and throw them on to Meridian, especially as General Grant presses them in front. All this should be done before the winter rains make General Grant's roads impassable. I will leave for Memphis to-morrow (Tuesday) night, and will reach Memphis with one of my old divisions Friday night. We ought to leave Memphis before the 20th, and I do earnestly desire you should meet me there at all events. Even if the larger gunboats cannot proceed at once, send those of light draught down with Captains Phelps, Gwin, Shirk, or some officer to assist me in the preliminary work. Of course Vicksburg cannot be reduced till you arrive with the large gunboats.

General Grant's purpose is to take full advantage of the effects of this Tallahatchie success.

I am, with great respect,


Major-General, Commanding.


Oxford, Miss., December 8, 1862.

Brigadier General FRED. STEELE,

Commanding U. S. Forces, Helena, Ark.:

I have just received authority to retain all General Curtis' forces now within my department until further orders. This is from the General-in-Chief, and contemplates their being used in co-operative movements to effect the capture of Vicksburg. If these troops have gone back to