and about Memphis, who, unless aided, will suffer for wood, clothing, and provisions. Government provides all these to our soldiers bounteously, and I know that, by the exercise of reasonable economy, every company can and does save a proportion of their allowance. What better disposition can be made of a part of this surplus than by giving it to poor? I recommend to all who have spare bread, flour, meat, rice, coffee, sugar, or anything needed by poor and sick families, that they send it to the officers of the Central Relief Committee, in Jefferson Block, Second street, where it will be receipted for by an agent, and by him distributed to the worthy. By this proceeds charity is done to the best advantage. I know that all our soldiers want is to know how to dispense their charity, and the above method, in my judgment, will accomplish the greatest amount of good.
W. T. SHERMAN,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF MEMPHIS,
Memphis, November 1, 1862.
Major JOHN A. RALWINS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Jackson, Tenn.:
DEAR SIR: I received last night, at the hands of Colonel Hillyer, the general's communication of October 29.
I think the attitude of things with our enemy has changed since the writing of that letter. I have seen several persons who were in Holly Springs up to Wednesday afternoon at 4 o'clock. At that time both Van Dorn and Price were in Holly Springs, and their troops camped all round about in such a way that an estimate of numbers was out of the question. There were no signs by which one could judge of the intentions. They have, like ourselves, all sorts of camp rumors, most of which are to the effect that Kentucky is their destination. Doubtless Kentucky was their destination, if they could have passed Iuka or Corinth. A woman, whose accounts agree with those of others, insists that the railroad cars from Holly Springs south are all engaged in carrying artillery. She persists in her assertions that she saw for two days the cars loaded with guns, carriages, and horses, and the rumors from the south are that Holly Springs is being evacuated. There is no doubt in my mind that the Confederate Government mistrusts Van Dorn, and that there is some conflict of authority between him and Pemberton, who has been specifically assigned to the Department of Mississippi and Louisiana. Villepigue's brigade has gone to Meridian, but the great bulk of the force collected at Holly Springs is there, our was there on Wednesday. I hardly think they would move to the Mississippi or Memphis, or any point above, as they and their communications would be at your mercy. They would hardly venture to attack you or Corinth if it be true they sent off their artillery. I have a man of high intelligence who started yesterday for Grenada and thence to Holly Springs, who has promised to send me on account of what he sees. We can better judge of their intentions from facts than from their say so. It is barely possible they are sending surplus artillery to Mobile and their field artillery round to Chattanooga, intending to make a junction with Bragg's forces. I confess myself at a loss to divine their plans from any reliable facts in my possession.
Colonels Hillyer and Lagow, of your staff, now here, will better describe things than I can do by letter. I have requested the former to look to