one division of Sherman's corps here, but it is replaced by one of McPherson's, already above. I send this to Cairo by a staff officer, who will await dispatches.
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE, Vicksburg, Miss., September 25, 1863.
Colonel J. C. KELTON,
Asst. Adjt. General, Washington, D. C.:
COLONEL: The dispatch of the General-in-Chief to Major-General Hurlbut for re-enforcements for Rosecrans was received here on the 22nd instant. The inclosed* are the orders made.
The division ordered from the Seventeenth Corps is one that had been ordered to further re-enforce General Steele's column. On arriving at Helena dispatches were received from General Steele announcing the retreat of Price; hence their services were not required there.
Supposing this division to be about embarking for their return to this place, and being already far on their way in the direction troops must travel in obedience to the dispatch of the General-in-Chief, one of my staff was immediately dispatched with orders to turn them northward. The division of the Fifteenth Army Corps ordered [Osterhaus'] was at the Big Black River Bridge. They received their orders in the forenoon of the 22nd ; all reached here during the night of the same day and embarked, and most of them got off on the 23rd. What was left of this division got off yesterday. I would much prefer sending an army corps to sending detachments from each. But this could not be done without much delay, unless the route to be taken is by Corinth and the Sixteenth Corps is sent. This contingency you will see is provided for in the orders inclosed. Should detachments from all the corps of my command go to re-enforce the Army of the Cumberland, General Sherman will be sent in charge of them.
General Banks is now calling on me for another division of troops. It will be impossible for me to supply them.
I regret not having a force now to move against Mobile with. I am confident that Mobile could now be taken with a comparatively small force. At least a demonstration in that direction would either result in the abandonment of the city or force the enemy to weaken Bragg's army to hold it.
I see by a paper published at Meridian, Miss., that General Joe Johnston has been relieved from duty.
There is no infantry force to my front now except Loring's division. A portion of the cavalry has also been withdrawn. Logan and Wirt Adams infest the country from about Rodney to Port Hudson. I shall put my cavalry in that country in a few days and endeavor to clear them out.
I am just out of bed, and find that I can write only with great difficulty. During the twenty days that I have been confined to one position on my back I have apparently been in the most perfect health, but now that I am upon crutches I find myself very weak.
U. S. GRANT,
*See September 22, p.774.