Colonels Hillyer and Lagow, of your staff, recently here, will tell you fully of all figures, numbers, and facts that I deem imprudent to trust by this route.
I have already ordered one officer of every Ohio regiment to proceed with dispatch to Columbus, Ohio, to bring back the drafted men for the Ohio regiments, seven in number.
Helath of good, and everything as well as I could wish. I will write to General Hovey, at Helena, telling him of your movements, and asking him to gather all information he can of the country toward Grenada.
Deserters come in constantly; one just now from Coldwater, where he was on picket. He did not know you were at La Grange, and said he deserted because he did not wish to go farther south. Heard that Price was to go to Jackson, but had not been to Holly Springs for five days.
I am, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN,
[P. S.]-I send you our morning papers; one of Mobile, November 3, and Grenada, November 5.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF MEMPHIS,
Memphis, November 12, 1862.
Admiral DAVID D. PORTER,
Commanding United States Naval Forces, Cairo:
DEAR SIR: Yours of the 7th instant was duly received.
I regret that we cannot prevent the erection of a fort at the mouth of Yazoo, as it will force as to fight across the Yazoo above its mouth, unless we can land troops in its east bank. Still, as you say, we must fight it out, and we must take the Mississippi and Yazoo this winter. I have been studying the condition of things hence to Grenada. Now, the roads are good and practicable, but as soon as rain falls the black alluvion is terrible with heavy trains of wagons. General Grant is at La Grange and Grand Junction, 50 or 53 miles due east of Memphis. The Coldwater and Tallahatchie from the Yazoo, and both must be crossed by us in an advance. The enemy now lies behind the Coldwater, but every indication is that he will fall behind the Tallahatchie, and possibly behind the Yalabusha, near Grenada, before he fights. A demonstration on the Yazoo, opposite the railroad below Grenada, would have a magnificent effect, which I know you are fully aware, and that when you make it, it will be well done. Now, my information is that eleven large, fine steamboats are in the Yazoo below Honey Island; nine in one group and two a little farther down. All there are the large elegant packets formerly used as the New Orleans, Mobile, and Vicksburg lines-Magenta, Natchez, General Quitman, &c. I will send you a full list of their names and location as soon as I can inquire of a person not now present. A person living on the Yazoo tells me there are 4 feet of water on the bars below Yazoo City, and that several of the smaller Red River packets have been got out and are now running in regular line from Vicksburg to the mouth of Red River and back, bringing sugar, cattle, and produce from Louisiana. My informant, whose name I withhold for the present, assures me that many planters along Yazoo are tired of war, and are actually praying for the coming of your fleet, but of this I do not profess to have much faith. At the same time it is not