HDQRS. DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE, Bridgeport, Ala., December 21, 1863.
Respectfully referred to Major General J. B. McPherson, commanding Seventeenth Corps, who will give such directions in the matter as he may deem best.
By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
R. M. SAWYER,
QUARTERMASTER'S DEPARTMENT, Saint Louis, October 2, 1863.
General J. A. RAWLINS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Vicksburg, Miss.:
GENERAL: I understand there was some surprise at so many boats being sent to move troops from Vicksburg to Memphis. It was with extreme regret I gave orders to boats to turn back from Memphis and Cairo, and sent others down from here, as it put it out of my power to fill requisitions; but the order of General Halleck to General Allen was such that General Allen felt he had no discretion, and ordered me to send boats to move from 20,000 to 25,000 men. I have now in my office requisitions for transportation for over 8,000 animals, 600 wagons, and 5,000 tons of freight, mostly for General Banks, and there are scarce boats enough here to perform our daily requisitions. The great trouble is in the low water, say 4 to 5 feet, owing to which boats can take but trifling loads.
L. B. PARSONS,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE, Vicksburg, Miss., October 2, 1863.
Brigadier General J. P. HAWKINS,
Commanding District of Northeastern Louisiana:
GENERAL: The small force now left here is so occupied with details for unloading boats, guarding an extended line, policing the city, &c., that it is impossible to furnish a sufficient force for work on the fortifications. If you can furnish one regiment at a time from your command, detailing them for one week at a time, without detriment to the service, it would help us out very much. I do not wish to order this, not knowing how well able you are to spare the troops. If they can come, I want the first detail made on Monday next, detail to be relieved each Monday thereafter. Please inform me if they can be sent, and if so a boat will be sent for them.
U. S. GRANT,