If it is expected that smuggling be repressed and the immense stores here protected from the thieves of both sides, I renew my statement that an entire DIVISION is necessary.
I shall call down two regiments from Columbus in a day or two, as soon as it is certain that Van Dorn will not recross the Tennessee, and bring in Grierson's cavalry from La Grange to patrol the neighborhood of Memphis, for which service they are worth all the rest since the SECOND Illinois went below.
Cornyn has done splendidly with the Tenth Missouri Cavalry, and has got back safe to Corinth.
I have directed Hamilton to garrison La Grange and its neighborhood with troops from Jackson and Corinth, as I think 5,000 effective men enough in Corinth.
I believe that with a good pile-driver the road from La Grange to Corinth could be repaired in three weeks, if it is worth while; to do this, however, is not a matter of necessity as long as we hold Jackson, which I see no occasion for abandoning.
The amount of plundering and bribery that is going on in and about the city of Memphis is beyond all calculation. I have one or two tolerably honest detectives at work, but am afraid they will be bought up. Is it utterly impossible to devise some way by which cotton and cotton dealers can be abolished? As the United States cannot be expected to hire all the cardinal virtues for $ 13 a month, soldiers on picket are bribed, officers are bribed, and the accursed system is destroying the army. Men are looking for opportunities to make money, and the whole course of the Treasury Department is tending to corrupt and degrade everybody connected with the administration of affairs. I am heartily sick, tired, and disgusted. Honesty is the exception and peculation the rule wherever the army is brought into contact with trade.
Your obedient servant,
S. A. HURLBUT.
LA GRANGE, March 7, 1863.
Denver's DIVISION, twelve regiments, includes the garrisons at Hickory Valley, Davis' Mills, Grand Junction, La Grange, and the post between La Grange and Moscow. One brigade must be kept on these stations until troops of Sullivan can get down; the other tow brigades will move to-day. Two regiments must be left at Moscow, one between Moscow and La Fayette, two at La Fayette, two beyond La Fayette, and two at Collierville. This is the utmost ground the DIVISION will cover now. The brigade left here can take post beyond Collierville as soon as Sullivan's troops arrive. The Bethel regiments and those from above Jackson will form a brigade for that purpose as soon as you direct. Road above Jackson to be abandoned. There are now no detached regiments within Denver's command.
C. S. HAMILTON.
MEMPHIS, March 7, 1863.
Major General C. S. HAMILTON,
Let the La Grange DIVISION cover the road to and including Collierville. The Fourth DIVISION will hold from that point down.
S. A. HURLBUT.