heavy force in our front, numbering not less than 10,000. I have concluded thus to reduce this position, infinitely less important, to the defensive, move my spare force rapidly to East Tennessee, and there endeavor to frustrate his lines and assail him in the rear. Copies of my orders will indicate the dispositions made. Major-General Van Dorn, with about 16,000 effectives, will hold the line of the Mississippi. Major-General Price, with a similar force, will face the enemy on this frontier, and a sufficient garrison will be left for Mobile and the Gulf. With the balance of the forces, some 35,000 effective blow through Middle Tennessee, gaining the enemy's rear, cutting off his supplies and dividing his forces, so as to encounter him in detail. In any event much will be accomplished in simply preserving our line and preventing a descent into Georgia, than which no greater disaster could befall us My forces commenced the move yesterday, those in and about Mobile proceeding first, so as to re-enforce General Smith at the earliest moment. As long as we are passing, Mobile is safe, and at the close a sufficient force will be left there. I shall move to-morrow with department headquarters to Chattanooga.
I am, sir,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT Number 2, Tupelo, Miss., July 23, 1862.
Major General EARL VAN DORN,
Commanding District of Mississippi, Jackson, Miss.:
GENERAL: Special Orders, Number 4, Headquarters of the Forces, dated Tupelo, July 21, 1862, is transmitted herewith for your information, touching the important movement therein directed. The headquarters of the department, I am instructed to say, after to-morrow will be transferred to Chattanooga, Tenn.
Generals Sherman and Hurlbut, of the Federal Army, have hastily abandoned their positions in vicinity of Grand Junction and retired on Memphis, destroying, it is reported, the bridges behind them. Their troops are represented to be much demoralized, in consequence of a wide division of sentiment concerning the negro question. A cavalry force from this army to co-operate with General Villepigue's cavalry is now moving on and to the rear of Grand Junction to menace and harass the enemy. It is the wish of the commanding general that you should consult freely and co-operate with Major-General Price. It is expected that you will do all things deemed needful without awaiting instructions from these headquarters. General Price will be instructed to the same effect.
Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
Chief of Staff.
SPECIAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS OF THE FORCES, Number 4. Tupelo, Miss., July 21, 1862.
I. The Army of the Mississippi, Major-General Hardee commanding, will be transferred with the least delay practicable to Chattanooga, Tenn., in the following order and manner:
1st. The artillery, cavalry, engineer, pioneer, and wagon trains will