WAR DEPARTMENT, September 25, 1863-3.30 p.m.
Commanding at Memphis:
This Department is satisfied that the good of the service requires the removal of Colonel Martin from command at Paducah, and the assignment of some officer there who will not permit the surrender of slaves to rebel masters, nor oppose the policy of the Government in organizing colored troops. If Paducah is within your command you will please relieve Colonel Martin and assign some officer of active loyalty who may be intrusted with the duty of organizing a colored regiment for the service.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Camp on Big Black, September 25, 1863.
Major General S. A. HURLBUT,
Commanding Sixteenth Army Corps:
DEAR GENERAL: Yours of September 19 was received on the 23rd instant. I had at 10 a.m. received a dispatch from General Grant at Vicksburg embodying that of General Halleck to you, ordering me to send one of my divisions for embarkation up river. At 4 p.m. General Osterhaus' division-my First, the same that Steele brought to me at Helena-was marching, and I went to Vicksburg and saw them embarking. They are now nearly up to Memphis. I used extraordinary dispatch, and confined my actions to my orders. Halleck's dispatch used my name, either supposing General Grant to be still at New Orleans, or calculating my corps would be sent. General Grant has communicated to me the fact that in case his aide [Captain Audenried] returns and reports that the re-enforcements for Rosecrans go up by river [and] railroad [Louisville and Nashville], he wants me to overtake them and command them as a detachment from his army; but if you think the route via Corinth, Bear Creek, Huntsville, and Stevenson the best, then he prefers that you should take your whole corps, an entirety, leaving the District of West Tennessee to be held by the detachments that have gone up from McPherson's and my corps. I now await action which depends on the report brought back by Audenried.
I do not believe that re-enforcements can reach Rosecrans from us in time to act in any combination now existing. If Rosecrans be pressed by re-enforcements to Bragg, he must needs take the defensive for the time being, and we should assemble here and at Jackson as large a force of men and as much transportation as we can, and press toward Meridian, Demopolis, and Selma, making a powerful diversion, which would instantaneously force Joe Johnston to give up the entire Mobile and Ohio Railroad, as well as the rich country on the Tombigbee, or hasten to the relief of Mobile. This would relieve Rosecrans much more speedily than any re-enforcements we can throw around to Rosecrans.
Still, I have abundant faith in Halleck, and will play his game.
Should you conclude it best to re-enforce Rosecrans by the round-about way, I will start and overtake my men at Cairo and push on