HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE TENN., Vicksburg, MISS., July 17, 1863.
Johnston evacuated Jackson last night. You need not move to Black River, but may move your command to any healthy location in this direction, leaving a sufficient guard for public property left behind.
U. S. GRANT.
MEMPHIS, TENN., July 17, 1863-5. 30 p. m.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief:
Scout in from Decatur reports Bragg retiring in three columns-to Atlanta by cars, to Talladega by land, and THIRD down Tuscumbia Valley. My opinion is that Bragg and Johnston will unite on line of Coosa River. I hear nothing of Sherman or his movements below. Until I learn definitely of him, and of the disposition of the heavy force now in the Tuscumbia Valley, it will be impossible to move any men from this line to Arkansas, as requested by telegram from you. The enemy's cavalry was sharply punished at Jackson, Tenn., by Colonel Hatch, on the 13th. Their loss over 200 in killed, wounded, and prisoners, 400 conscripts released, and about 250 horses taken, with more than that number of arms. General Ruggles commands at Okolona, with 4,000 good troops and an unlimited supply of militia. If to those a portion of Bragg's force be added, they may be troublesome. I have forwarded your dispatch to General Grant, and await the return of forces from him.
S. A. HURLBUT.
MEMPHIS, TENN., July 17, 1863.
Major General U. S. GRANT,
Comdg. Department of the Tennessee, Vicksburg, MISS.:
GENERAL: I send you dispatches this day received for General Prentiss and myself. * You will see by their tenor that the General-in-Chief expects me to aid in a movement from Helena in the rear of Price. I am not in force enough to do so until I learn more accurately the state of things below. I have no men to spare from this portion of my corps.
Asboth reports to me to-day that Pillow, with 6,000 men, is at Macedonia, near Paris, and expects to be re-enforced by Forrest. I have so little confidence in Asboth's reports that I am at a loss what to do. Still, I think, from the fact that Colonel Jesse [A.] Forrest, Colonel Biffle, Colonel Newsom, and other bands were defeated at Jackson, on the 13th, by Hatch, that it is probable that a considerable body of conscripts and others have been gathered at or near Paris, with intent to move on Paducah. With this gathering threatening the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, with Roddey's force at Bear Creek, with Ruggles at Okolona, and Chalmers at Panola, I am not in condition to spare my force. I am entirely in the dark as to movements below; cannot tell what has become of Johnston, though I suppose, from reports from my spies, that he is falling back on the line of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, or perhaps the Tombigbee River. In this event my immediate front will be cleared. It is evident to me that this disposable cavalry of Bragg's army, is to be thrown in marauding expeditions, such as John [H.] Morgan's, to
*For Halleck to Prentiss, see p. 513. The dispatch to Hurlbut directed re-enforcements to be sent to Prentiss.