changed their plans. At any rate Rosecrans is now the main object of their attack, and he must be strengthened by all the means in our power. Burnside is joining him with all the available troops in Kentucky, and I wish you to afford him all possible aid. Vicksburg and other places on the river cannot require large garrisons under present circumstances.
The rebel Government has announced that some 16,000 of the prisoners paroled by you at Vicksburg are released from their paroles and will return to duty. None of them have been exchanged. It is also understood that they intend to put in the ranks against Rosecrans, without exchange, all the prisoners paroled by you and General Banks. Such outrageous conduct must cause very serious difficulties. After violating the cartel in every possible way, they now violate the plainest laws of war and principles of humanity. We must, nevertheless, prepare for this, and I think we may expect all their paroled prisoners that they can collect will be put in the field against us without exchange. It is understood that the orders issued to them state that they have been exchanged. This is utterly false; not one of them has been exchanged.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. HALLECK,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE, Vicksburg, Miss., September 17, 1863.
Colonel JOHN C. KELTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.:
COLONEL: General Grant has returned from New Orleans, and although unable to walk from the effects of injuries received while there by the falling of his horse, his general health is good and he is able for duty.
General Steele dispatches from Little Rock, date 10th instant, the enemy's evacuation of that place, his retreat south, and General Davidson in pursuit. Orders have been issued for the return of the division sent from here to re-enforce General Steele.
Everything here is quiet. The health of the troops is good.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNumbers A. RAWLINS,
Brigadier-General and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Camp of Big Black, Miss., September 17, 1863.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.:
DEAR GENERAL: I have received your letter of August 29, and with pleasure confide to you fully my thoughts on the important matters you suggest, with absolute confidence that you will use what is valuable and reject the useless or superfluous.
That part of the continent of North America known as Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas is in my judgment the key to the whole interior. The Valley of the Mississippi is America, and although railroads have changed the economy of intercommunication, yet the water channels still mark the line of fertile land and afford carriage