If the owners can establish their claims, it will not be for a fraction of the value, but for it all. Either the cotton is liable to confiscation and belongs entirely to the Government, or it must all be given to the owners. I mean all the value of the cotton. Some of the claims have been established beyond cavil, and it was to avoid any trouble to you that I have had the sale postponed. If the Government will make a rule to buy all the cotton, taking it out of traders' hands entirely, then it will be fairly entitled to what profit can be made between purchase and sale; but the seizure of the cotton gives the Government no right to a profit or to take the profits by forces out of the legitimate traders' hands.
Hoping you will soon be here to examine these matters in person, I am, most respectfully, yours,
C. S. HAMILTON,
P. S. -Have just received a note from Hurlbut, saying he leaves Cairo for Memphis to-night.
LA GRANGE, February 2, 1863.
Colonel B. H. GRIERSON:
Colonel Hatch has patrols out, making it impossible for [R. V.] Richardson to pass south between here and the Hatchie. He had information of where he was camped two days ago-36 miles northwest of here. Find out from General Hamilton if he has information of his having left. Colonel Hatch thinks expedition against him would be advantageous.
Lieutenant and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
SHERMAN'S HEADQUARTERS, ---- 3, 1863.
I have been to my extreme right. Two rifle-pits almost finished to water's edge; one reaches the mound. A battery is finished, and to-night a gun will be put in it, looking into the upper water battery. Putting up navy battery for two 8-inch guns on the right. A pretty sharp artillery fight there this morning, but our rifled 30-pounders got the best of it. Going to the front with Prime.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF COLUMBUS,
February 3, 1863-6 a. m.
Major General C. S. HAMILTON,
Commanding District of WEST Tennessee, Memphis, Tenn.:
Island Number 10 is attacked by rebel cavalry and artillery, numbering 3,000 or 4,000. W. C. Hanford, executive officer U. S. gunboat New Era, reports so in person. One hundred and FIFTY men of the Thirty-FIFTH Iowa leave immediately on tow-boat Stephen Bayard and 400 by steamer Emma, to re-enforce the small garrison. I send also ammunition for the two guns reported as serviceable on the island. Will you permit the withdrawal of our troops from Union City to take the rebels