my own spies from the south. I have furnished it fully to him, and I send you herewith the last intelligence from Dodge; also my own.
All the transportation in the shape of rolling stock along the Jackson road from Meridian and elsewhere had gone WEST to Vicksburg a week since. The inclosed letter from Dodge* shows where it is. One of my spies brought me word from [Sol. G.] Street's guerrilla headquarters that the heavy guns were being dismounted in Vicksburg and being transferred east as rapidly as possible. All sources of information point to the belief that the rebels contemplate an evacuation the moment their rear is threatened.
The road from Jackson, Tenn., to Columbus having been abandoned, I have drawn four regiments from Sullivan and added them to Denver's DIVISION, which now stretches from Davis' Mills to Memphis. The force is sufficient to protect the road from the guerrillas now in the country, but, should any considerable portion of Van Dorn's forces return, it will be necessary to increase the road guard or else concentrate it at the most important points. Bethel is now garrisoned from Dodge's forces, and the two regiments that were stationed there are now guarding the road near Memphis.
Everything is perfectly quiet in the whole district. During the past week I organized and planned and expedition to clean our [R. V.] Richardson, embracing a column from here, under Grierson, one from Lee, at Germantown, and a watching from Fort Pillow. You have been made aware of the results of the expedition, which, though considerable, did not meet my expectations. I have also destroyed, during the week, the Tallahatchee Bridge.
I have been planning an expedition with Dodge from Corinth, by which Cornyn, supported by a brigade of infantry, should try and reach Meridian, breaking up the gangs of conscripts known to be scattered at various points along the Mobile and Ohio road. To do it I should have to increase Cornyn's cavalry force by another regiment, and when hinth I should send another strong cavalry force from here to Pontotoc, breaking up Falkner, who is reorganizing his regiment at the latter place.
Hurlbut says you have ordered the cavalry put in condition for heavy service, and thinks it will be hardly possible for the expedition to go. I think it would be productive of good results.
Hurlbut is at last confirmed, from September 17, myself from September 19; action on McPherson's case not known.
If I am to remain in the District of WEST Tennessee, on duty, let me ask that the district be divided, and that I report direct to you. If you deem it necessary for me to remain in my present position, I request the Districts of Jackson and Corinth, and as far WEST as Moscow, be assigned me as a separate command, reporting direct to department headquarters. It is altogether probable that my rank is senior to McPherson, and that I am entitled to the command of the SEVENTEENTH Corps, but it will be some time before this can be officially known.
Buford is left out of the confirmed list of major-generals.
I am anxious to come down to see you. Everything is so quiet that I can well be spared from my position.
I send this by one of my aides, Lieutenant [Edward F.] Pierce, and trust that he will bring back an affirmative reply.
I am, general, yours, most respectfully,
C. S. HAMILTON.
*See Dodge to Hamilton, p. 107.