This order does not apply to the troops of the SEVENTEENTH Army Corps within the district of WEST Tennessee, now under orders to move.
By order of Major General S. A. Hurlbut:
UNITED STATES MISS. SQUADRON, February 12, 1863.
GENERAL: I shall send the Indianola down to-night to run the batteries at Vicksburg. She will show two red lights when she gets near your pickets below. If you would let your people at the canal show a Light, I would be much obliged. I want Captain Brown to send me a report. Will you please order it sent over?
DAVID D. PORTER.
HEADQUARTERS Fifteenth ARMY CORPS, February 12, 1863.
General DAVID STUART:
General Grant has referred this to General Sherman. He directs that you take secret, but effectual, measures to instruct your people at the canal and along the levee. I have notified General Steele.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. H. HAMMOND,
MEMPHIS, February 12, 1863.
GENERAL: Herewith please find telegram from General Dodge. This movement of Van Dorn's clears our front of all cavalry except that of [G. L.] Blythe's, which is operating in the direction of Panola. It is the time to strike the Vicksburg and Jackson road. I would recommend that a brigade of cavalry move from La Grange around the headwaters of the Tallahatchee and Yalabusha, making as much of a demonstration as possible about Pontotoc; then the main body to retire, and a single regiment, under a dashing leader-say, Hatch-move to the south as rapidly as possible, taking fresh horses from the country, and push night and day direct for Jackson. There are no troops at Jackson, but Johnston is there. The brigade over the Pearl River could be destroyed, as well as all the railroad shops and rolling stock, and a dash made at the Big Black River Bridge, which, if destroyed, will completely isolate Vicksburg from the interior. After getting round the headwaters of Yalabusha, the route should be as nearly as possible along the line of the Mississippi Central road, so as to cut the wires, and, if necessary, destroy a bridge, though the latter might take up time which would be of more importance than the bridges.
This is the outline of the plan, and one which I deem feasible almost to a certainty. The movement of the brigade to Pontotoc would be a diversion in favor of Rosecrans, for I have no doubt Van Dorn is bound for operations against Rosecrans' communications by land and river.
Please give the subject your consideration.
I am, general, very respectfully, yours,
C. S. HAMILTON.