in charge of hospitals, affirm that none can be spared from general hospital here.
The progress of rebuilding railroad from Columbus is very slow, but Colonel Webster assures me it will be completed to-morrow.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. A. HURLBUT.
CORINTH, February 21, 1863.
Major General STEPHEN A. HURLBUT:
A scout came in from Jackson last night; reports two regiments of infantry at Jackson, and a large portion of the rebel army encamped on east side of Black River, near the bridge. A force of 800 men only at Meridian, but all the surplus rolling-stock of railroad centered there. One brigade of rebel cavalry north of Grenada, and Barteau's regiment (800) at Okolona. Dodge says this is entirely reliable. I have, therefore, suspended movement of Hatch for the present.
C. S. HAMILTON.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
Before Vicksburg, February 22, 1863.
Comdg. SIXTEENTH Army Corps:
GENERAL: So soon as all the rolling-stock of the railroad is got away from Columbus, the road north from Jackson may be abandoned, disposing of the troops guarding it as your judgment may dictate. I directed General Hamilton to have all workshops, depots of stores, and everything not required by the troops removed from all posts between Grand Junction and Corinth, via Jackson, to points intended to be permanently occupied, so that, in case of necessity, this part of the road may be abandoned and the troops removed to wherever their services may be required. I do not want Jackson abandoned, however, except in case of absolute necessity.
If Colonel Lee is perfectly satisfied that some of his men are being punished, as described in his report, by rebel authority, he may serve in the same manner an equal number of the enemy, and open a correspondence with General Tilghman, as he proposes.
I will want one DIVISION of troops brought forward and held in readiness to join this expedition when called for.
I sent orders some time ago for the SECOND Illinois Cavalry to be forwarded here without delay. As they have not come, I presume my order never reached you. They may now be held for further orders.
If the six 8-inch howitzers at Memphis have not yet been sent here, they need not be sent, but forward them to Corinth, with all the ammunition belonging to them. The First Infantry will come here, as per orders.
General McClernand's army corps is deficient in artillery. I have not the returns before me to designate any particular battery to be sent, but I want on with heavy guns-Parrotts, if possible-forwarded as soon as possible.
Vigorous measures will have to be adopted to prevent the smuggling going on from Memphis, but I do not know what to suggest. This I leave to your own judgment.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT.