War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0522 Chapter XXXVI. Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC.

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Vicksburg, MISS., July 17, 1863.

General SHERMAN:

Don't destroy any cars at Jackson nor the road east near Jackson whilst you occupy the place. Destroy it far off to the east if you can. If Johnston is pursued, would it not have the effect to make him abandon much of his train, and many of his men to desert? I do not favor marching our men much, but if the cavalry can do anything they might do it. I leave this to your judgment, with the superior opportunities you have of knowing what should be done.

U. S. GRANT.

JULY 17, 1863.

General SHERMAN:

Make such pursuit after Johnston as you deem advisable, and, when you cease the pursuit, return the NINTH and Thirteenth Corps, the former to near your old position, the latter to its old position. With your corps and Smith's DIVISION, which I will add to it, hold Jackson and such healthy points as you deem advisable between Black River and there. Keep all the cavalry with you except that belonging to Ord. Grierson will be here in a day or two, and I will then add him to your command.

U. S. GRANT.

Vicksburg, MISS., July 17, 1863.

General WILLIAM T. SHERMAN:

You can return slowly to Black River. Let Parke come into the city so that he can be sent back to-day.

U. S. GRANT.

CAMP near JACKSON, MISS.,

July 17, 1863.

Major General E. O. ORD, Comdg. Thirteenth Army Corps:

GENERAL: The weather is too hot and the country too destitute of water to attempt to follow Johnston toward Meridian and Selma. That must be deferred to October. I want, however, to do everything to give us the advantage when the next campaign opens against Mobile and the Alabama country. I may destroy the railroad east toward Meridian, but I shall not attempt to pursue Johnston. It would be foreign to our present enterprise, but I beg you will use your greatest exertions to break up, absolutely and effectually, 10 miles of railroad below Jackson. Parke will do the same above, and I may order a special force to do the same east.

When the expedition sent to Canton and the cavalry sent to Brookhaven are back, I hope to have telegraphic communication with General Grant, when I will advise your return to Clear Creek, the Fifteenth Army Corps to Bear Creek, and the NINTH to Milldale, to reorganize and reconstruct for the summer.

I am,&c.,

W. T. SHERMAN.

(Similar letters to Major-Generals Parke and Steele.)