Vicksburg, MISS, August 1, 1863.
VIA CAIRO, ILL., August 8.
Everything indicates a withdrawal of Kirby Smith's troops to Natchitoches and Shreveport. Mobile can be taken from the Gulf Department, with only one or two gunboats to protect the debarkation. I can send the necessary force. With your leave, I would like to visit New Orleans, particularly if the movement against Mobile is authorized.
U. S. GRANT.
HEADQUARTERS NINTH ARMY CORPS,
Milldale, MISS., August 1, 1863.
GENERAL: My report is ready and will be forwarded to you to-day. I was very sorry not to meet you in Vicksburg.
We are at our old camp (Milldale), under orders for the Department of the Ohio, but waiting transportation.
Be assured that we fully appreciate the kind feelings expressed toward the NINTH Corps. They are fully reciprocated. I sincerely hope that the small part borne by us in the recent campaign met your approbation. I need hardly tell you that the campaign has been very severe upon both my officers and men. Still, I hope, after we are recruited, that we may again meet, and the proposed rendezvous, Atlanta, would meet with a cheerful response.
I will convey your messages to General Burnside.
JNO. G. PARKE.
Vicksburg, MISS., August 1, 1863.
Brigadier General LORENZO THOMAS,
Adjutant-General, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: There being every prospect of a short season of rest for my command, I desire to reorganize it and place it on the best footing possible for an active campaign. One of the first steps necessary will be to consolidate the regiments, which have been greatly reduced by the casualties of the service, and I respectfully request that I may be authorized to consolidate two or more regiments from the same State into one, so as to bring the number of effective men in each regiment to about 650, leaving the deficiency to be filled with drafted men. This method, I am satisfied, presents many advantages over that prescribed in General Orders, Numbers 86, War Department, April 2, 1863. It enables us to make a selection of the best field and company officers, those who have shown a capacity to command men, and who have distinguished themselves in the battle-field; also to form brigades of three or more regiments, instead of an indefinite number of small battalions, inconvenient to handle on the battle-field; also to form brigades of three or more regiments, instead of an indefinite number of small battalions, inconvenient to handle on the battle-field. This order, as it stands, will muster out of service some of the very best officers in my command, and my experience has shown that the value and efficiency of a regiment depend almost entirely upon the officers; that there is no such thing as a worthless regiment, as far as the enlisted men are concerned, when the officers, from the colonel down, do their whole duty.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. B. McPHERSON.