War of the Rebellion: Serial 025 Page 0874 Chapter XXIX. WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS.

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HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF MEMPHIS,

Memphis, November 23, 1862.

Major-General GRANT, Commanding Department of West Tennessee:

DEAR GENERAL: As soon as I arrived here I dispatched an aide to Helena, who brings me back an answer perfectly satisfactory from General Steele, who has reached Helena with Osterhaus' division, which, added to the force there, makes a heavy command. I send you his letter, which assures us that he will send Hovey, with a large force, on Grenada, from Friar's Point, reaching the Tallahatchie about Charleston on next Monday; from that point they attack or threaten Grenada about Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

I will march to-morrow (Wednesday), according to orders, Denver's division (two brigades-nine regiments of infantry and three batteries of artillery), on Pigeon Roost road, to Byhalia, and thence south to Chulahoma, reaching Byhalia Thursday and Chulahoma Sunday; Smith's division to Germantown, Byhalia, and Chulahoma (same force as Dunver's). Lauman's division (eighth regiments of infantry, three batteries, and four companies of cavalry) will take the Hernando road, and turn east and join Denver at Byhavia. I will accompany the center column, keeping with me Grierson, with eight companies of cavalry. Hurlbut has joined; has been assigned command of the post, garrisoned by four regiments, one battery, and Thielemann's two companies of cavalry. I will instruct him to organize into brigades and divisions all troops arriving ready to move inland, if called for. I leave as a part of the garrison the sick and helpless of the moving column, may be 1,000 men is all; better behind a parapet than in a general hospital. I have a very intelligent man in from Jackson, who has been to Abbeville, Grenada, Mobile, Vicksburg, everywhere; no doubt of the fact; some little doubt of his sincerity, but I believe he has large interests on the Yazoo which he is anxious to cover up. He wants to get his cotton out safe. He brings me late papers, which I send you. He says a court of inquiry acquitted Van Dorn, and that he commands the Army of the Tallahatchie, Pemberton commanding department at Jackson, Miss.; Van Dorn over Price, Tilghman, bowen, and Jackson. Not a word of any of Bragg's or Holmes' forces. He describes much feeling against Van Dorn, for bad management or bad luck. They are fortifying all fords and ferries of the Tallahatchie, especially about the railroad crossing, and to-day they are ordered to commence at Panola; but all this will cease when they hear of Hovey coming across from Helena. His strength and purpose will be magnified. Mr. H. thinks that the aggregate force of Van Dorn does not reach 30,000, although he admits they are so scattered that it is hard to estimate. Van Dorn's headquarters are at Abbeville, and the Tallahatchie is their line.

I send this a inclosures by a special bearer of dispatches. I hear of a rebel cavalry regiment at Somerville, but suppose they will fall back as we advance. I have only Grierson's cavalry with me.

I am, &c.,

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF MEMPHIS,

Memphis, November 25, 1862.

The Mayor and Council, City of Memphis:

GENTLEMAN: I regret to notice that you propose to issue a species of currency of denomination as low as 10 cents ("shinplasters") to swell