I want your district stripped to the very lowest possible standard. You can be in no possible danger for the time it will be necessary to keep these troops away. All points in WEST Tennessee north of the Memphis and Charleston road, if necessary, can be abandoned entirely. Western Kentucky may be reduced to a small garrison at Columbus and Paducah.
If you have not already brought the troops forward to Memphis to send me, bring Smith's, formerly Denver's, DIVISION. Add to this all other force you can spare. Send two regiments of cavalry also If you have not received the cavalry last ordered from Helena, divert them to this place, instead of sending two other regiments.
No boats will be permitted to leave Memphis, going north, until the transportation is fully provided for all troops coming this way.
The quartermaster in charge of transportation and Colonel Hillyer are specially instructed to see that this direction is fully enforced. the entire rebel heretofore against me are completely at my mercy. I do not want to see them escape by being re-enforced from elsewhere. I hope before this reaches you troops will be already on the way from your command. General Dodge can spare enough from his force to garrison La Grange and Grand Junction.
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Memphis, Tenn., May 31, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel John A. RAWLINS,
SIR: I send this by Brigadier-General Kimball, who goes below with a DIVISION of twelve regiments of infantry, in obedience to orders from you. I cannot very safely spare any more from this line until Rosecrans does something.
Forrest with his cavalry is reported to have gone south, and I am of opinion that Johnston must have something like 30,000 men. He is said to expect D. H. Hill with 18,000 men from Virginia.
The prisoners sent up have gone, under General Halleck's orders, to Indianapolis and Fort Delaware; half to each; officers to Sandusky.
The enemy near Grenada are too strong for my cavalry to attack, but as they move below to Canton and Jackson, I shall push down.
A gunboat should be kept on station between Helena and this place, as a battery is likely to be established at or near Austin.
Steamboats have been very difficult to procure, and, if larger re-enforcements are required it would be advisable to send boats up from below, as there is a terrible delay in procuring transportation.
Your obedient servant,
S. A. HURLBUT,
JACKSON, May 31, 1863.
I send by General Kimball two letters; do not let him forget to hand them to you. Dodge says three scouts in from different directions. All agree that Johnston has about 20,000 men, and would try to attack Grant about the 25th instant. Two DIVISIONS came from Bragg's army. People in the South much depressed at Pemberton's defeats. The talk was Bragg could spare no more troops.
R. J. OGLESBY,
24 R R-VOL. XXIV., PT. III