War of the Rebellion: Serial 052 Page 0662 KY.,SW. VA.,TENN.,MISS.,N. ALA.,AND N. GA. Chapter XLII.

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SEPTEMBER 16, 1863.

General RAWLINS,

Vicksburg:

Good for Steele! He should not pursue too far. The only real battle needed in the Southwest will be at Shreveport, and for it we want high water in Red River. We cannot expect all natural advantages there till January. We should bounce the camps forming at Enterprise and Demopolis, and stir up the cavalry in the interior. Of course if Price abandoned Little Rock without fighting, Steele will not want John E. Smith's division, which should be recalled before disembarking, and we could, by October 1, begin to act here, provided some rain falls to supply the wells, cisterns, and creeks by the way. My own opinion is, that Arkansas River as high up as Little Rock can be navigated by small boats, in which case Steele should hold and fortify.

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General.

SHERMAN'S HEADQUARTERS, September 16, 1863.

General McPHERSON,

Vicksburg:

General Buckland says he is troubled by parties having your pass, by order of some staff officer, to pass out and in with wagons and marketing. I would not object to some system by which marketing could come in to be bartered for merchandise, but if we permit it we open all our lines to the enemy's scouts and spies. I think you had better discontinue all such passes till we can agree upon some just system. I proposed some such plan to General Grant on my return from Jackson, and he disapproved it. There is a great pressure to come in for medicine and necessaries, but we are in no measure called on to accommodate the people till they positively submit openly and frankly to our just authority. As soon as the general comes up I will submit a plan that will obviate all difficulty.

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General.

SHERMAN'S HEADQUARTERS, September 16, 1863.

General BUCKLAND,

Oak Ridge:

On our first coming in from Jackson I proposed to General Grant to open a species of trade with the people, to enable them to barter their produce for such merchandise as was needed by them, but he was opposed to all trade, and I have denied all trade. I have telegraphed to McPherson to give no more passes such as you refer to, as it is against our policy to permit persons to go into Vicksburg for any reason whatsoever. If there is to be any trade or barter, it should be at our border. If parties pass in or out by any other than the Ridge road, their wagons and horses should be confiscated. I will be up to-morrow and will talk over these matters.