War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0575 Chapter XXXVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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attached to such acts of vandalism, and this would form a good occasion for a general order announcing to all that our province is to maintain good law, and not to break it. The burning of this building in no way aided our military plans. No enemy was within 50 miles. A major riding behind his regiment is not the man to know the policy of the General Government of the United States. I have issued orders again and again on this subject, but our commands change so often that time is not afforded to prohibit all sorts of misdemeanors to each new command, nor is it necessary. This major had no reason to presume that he, in the presence of his regimental, brigade, and DIVISION commanders, should judge of the policy of the Government, and DIVISION commanders, should judge of the policy of the Government, and I was close at hand and he knew it. He knew that he had no right to order this burning, or, if ignorant, he is unworthy a commission.

I ask that he be dismissed summarily and in disgrace. Not that I would visit upon him undeserved punishment, but that the United States authorities should wash their hands of the obloquy attached to such wanton acts of destruction.

I am, &c.,


Vicksburg, MISS., August 4, 1863.


GENERAL: The destruction of the railroad at Jackson, MISS., has cut off a large amount of rolling-stock from the enemy. This stock numbering from 40 to 70 locomotives and several hundred cars, is now north of Grenada. If the labor of reconstructing the bridges on the Mississippi and Memphis Railroad will not be too great, it might pay to rebuild them for the purpose of getting the stock into Memphis. An expedition sent out for the purpose of collecting it, if rightly conducted, might have a beneficial effect. In this part of Mississippi the people acknowledge themselves subjugated, the Southern cause lost, and are holding meetings to devise plans for coming back into the Union. If we can send troops through the State who will respect the property of the people and advise them what is being done about Jackson and Natchez, and that saving this stock and repairing the road might lead to the opening of trade with them, the effect might be good. I will send cavalry from here to collect all rolling-stock and take it as far north as the road is in running order. You can send troops from Memphis to meet them, and repair the road northward sufficiently to pass the cars.

You will want to get these troops off as early as possible. The troops from here will be all cavalry 1,000 in number, and can remain with the party until they get through to Memphis, if necessary, and return by water. I will start the cavalry from here on the 8th.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


MEMPHIS, TENN., August 4, 1863.

Major General U. S. GRANT,

Commanding Department of the Tennessee, Vicksburg, MISS.:

GENERAL: I am now about to start for Cairo to meet General Schofield and arrange the plan of campaign in Arkansas. So far as I can ascertain, Davidson has committed a very serious blunder in coming