one single purpose, viz, to sustain a Government capable of vindicating its just and rightful authority, independent of niggers, cotton, money, or any earthly interest.
Might not the publication of my letter, even without my signature, impair my usefulness with the South? Still if you or Judge Holt, or General Hitchcock, or Reverdy Johnson, or Mr. Ewing would take my letter and mold it in such shape as not to compromise me, so as to serve any good purpose, I give my full consent to its use, or indeed to use anything I have. If I covet any public reputation it is as a silent actor. I dislike to see my name in print.
Thanking you always for many favors, I am, always your sincere friend,
W. T. SHERMAN.
HEADQUARTERS FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Memphis, Tenn., October 10, 1863-11.30 p.m. (Received 11 p.m., 13th.)
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Osterhaus' division is at Iuka, covering the repair of railroad, looking to Eastport for a crossing. Bear Creek must be bridged, and the road repaired to Tuscumbia, where I expect to cross and march to Athens. My Third Division is at Glendale, 9 miles east of Corinth. The Second Division is temporarily at La Grange, in consequence of a threat to the road from the south. My Fourth Division was delayed by low water, and is not all up yet, and, in consequence of the constant interruption of the railroad, I will cause it to march all the way, relieving it of baggage by the railroad. I do not believe that General Hurlbut can cover this railroad. The telegraph is cut every night, and a force of cavalry, reported from 3,000 to 7,000 men, under Stephen D. Lee, threatens it all the time at Moscow, Pocahontas, and intervening points. The moment I cross Bear Creek in force I know the road will be occupied by the enemy.
General Hurlbut's cavalry skirmished yesterday at Salem with Lee's forces, and fell back, worsted, to La Grange. I did expect to go out to-day, but the cars were all occupied. I will go to-morrow (Sunday),and, unless the danger to the road exceeds my calculation, will pass to Bear Creek at once, and push repairs to the maximum; but I must report my belief that we cannot promise General Rosecrans any stores by this route. The Tennessee River should rise during all November, and will be the best channel for supplies. Next the railroad from Columbus to Corinth and Iuka; with wagons thence to Eastport, Florence, Athens, &c. I will take with me in wagons as much as possible, and would ask of you by telegraph whether you wish I should give preference to securing this road or reaching the neighborhood of Athens with expedition. The latter I can surely accomplish; the former is problematical. At present the road from Memphis east is of very limited capacity. It can move men, but horses, guns, wagons, &c., it cannot with any speed. Every mile of it, save a few fortified points, can be cut by the enemy any night. The enemy is vastly superior to us in cavalry, who retire before us, but come back the instant possession is withdrawn.
W. T. SHERMAN,