were prevented by mud. He is ordered both by General Curtis and Halleck to move by the 3rd January toward Little Rock in a combined movement with Blunt, Herron, and Schofield. A fleet of light-draught boats are now passing down to him, so that I suppose he will proceed up Arkansas or White River, both now full.
I have no report from Sherman except stories brought up to different persons that Sherman was at Vicksburg; landed within 6 miles of the town, moving on, and Banks below the city.
I do not think that any troops will come to this place from Helena, but hope for a regiment or more from Columbus when Davies lets them go.
I have been compelled to postpone the election for member of Congress from the 29th December to 20th January on account of this raid; by that time I hope the country will be quiet.
I beg you will state to the general that Major General John A. McClernand went down the river this morning on the Express. He will need convoy to get through below.
I am sorry that my health, hitherto good, is failing me. I am unfit for the field on account of an obstinate erysipelas, which annoys me exceedingly about the face and eyes, that prevented my riding for two weeks. I am, however, fit for office work and to hold Memphis, especially as Halleck will not me go home.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. A. HURLBUT,
HOLLY SPRINGS, MISS., December 30, 1862.
Major General STEPHEN A. HURLBUT,
Commanding District of Memphis, Tenn.:
Your communication, inclosing dispatch from Washington, was duly received.
As you are not in sufficient health to take the field I will be very glad to retain you in command of Memphis for the present. In fact I have been somewhat troubled to know who I could send there to relieve you.
General Davies has a force of 5,000 at Columbus, when one regiment is the greatest abundance to hold the place, and has been during all of the late scare. I have directed him to reduce his garrison to what it is very weak, but if the 2,000 cavalry belonging to Hovey's command are still on this side of the river I will he able to send you one regiment of it. I have ordered this cavalry to report here. I am now opening the Memphis and Charleston road, and have placed a large force on the road to protect it. With the additional forces you will receive from Columbus you will be able to hold the road to Germantown. The balance will be provided for from here.
No special news here. An unofficial dispatch received last evening from Humboldt says that our troops now have Forrest in a tight place. The Tennessee has risen, and our troops, I believe, have destroyed all the flats on the river. With a sufficient cavalry force Forrest's fate would be sealed. Infantry, however, he may succeed in evading.
U. S. GRANT,