War of the Rebellion: Serial 025 Page 0480 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

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CAIRO, ILL., December 25, 1862.

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

By direction of Major-General Sherman I telegraph you the fact that his expedition embarked from Memphis, December 20, in sixty transports, 22,000 strong; 12,000 more to be taken on at Helena with cavalry. Arrangements were already made for the cavalry to operate between Helena and the Tallahatchie. The general expects to be at Gaines' Landing on 23d, Milliken's Bend on 24th, and in all probability at mouth of Yazoo to-day. This dispatch should have been for warded two days ago, but accident and unavoidable delay on steam-boat in which I came up rendered it impossible. Passed Island Numbers 10 and Hickman last night. All quiet and very different from what they seemed to think at Columbus since General Grant's communication has been cut off. It many to be unimportant to know that General Sherman took with him 1,600,000 rations, or 600,000 more than originally intended, anticipating, as I understood, the possibility of General Grant being compelled to draw supplies from his for a short time in case of accident to his railroad communication.

HENRY S. FITCH,

Captain and Assistant Quartermaster.

HDQRS. THIRTEENTH A. S., DEPT. OF THE TENN.

Holly Springs, Miss., December 25, 1862.

COMMANDING OFFICER MEMPHIS, TENN.:

Inclosed find communication for General J. A. McClernand,* which you will deliver to him if he be at Memphis. If he has gone down the river you will please forward it to him. The original letter was sent to the commanding officer at Cairo, with instructions to deliver it to General McClernand if he had not already passed that point going south, and if he had to send it to him at Memphis. Communication was cut off north and it did not probably reach him.

By order of Major General U. S. Grant:

JNO. S. RAWLINS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,

Holly Springs, Miss., December 25, 1862.

Major General STEPHEN A. HURLBUT, Memphis, Tenn.:

Just as Forrest's raid upon our railroad was commenced I received a dispatch from the General-in-Chief of the Army to divide my command into four army corps, giving one to General McClernand and placing him in chief command, under my direction, of the expedition on Vicksburg.

I immediately wrote the order giving you command of the Third Army Corps, and directed General McClernand to order you here to take command of it. Before this got off all communication wa cut off with the north, and has not yet been resumed. General McClernand consequently has not yet received my directions and orders.

Communication now being cut off and the probabilities being that Vicksburg is already in our hands a change of plans will probably be

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*Probably Grant to Commanding Officer Expedition down the Mississippi, December 23, p. 463.

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