increased the efficiency of the army, and entitle him to the thanks of the general commanding.
II. Officers of the U. S. Coast Survey, serving with this army, will assume the assimilated rank of captain, and will be obeyed and respected accordingly.
By command of Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas:
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Vicksburg, Miss., November 5, 1863.
Maj. Gen. W. T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Department of the Tennessee:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of General Orders, No. 2.*
The wording of the order limits my command to the east side of the Mississippi River, though I presume the intention is to have it the same as when General Grant left, viz, embracing all the troops between the mouth of the Arkansas River and the Department of the Gulf.
Brigadier-General Hawkins, commanding District of Northeast Louisiana, headquarters at Goodrich's Landing, called my attention to it more particularly, and asked me whether I assumed command over him by virtue of rank or in obedience to orders.
As this was General Grant's order on leaving, I presumed you intended the same thing. We will have no trouble, however.
I do not understand your order No. 2 as repealing General Grant's order No. 57, though I have received a copy of General Hurlbut's orders, issued after he received yours, in which he takes the ground that No. 57 is repealed.
I shall be only too happy to have the Treasury agents take charge of everything relating to the shipment of cotton, &c., and trade and commerce generally. At present, however, the agent here, Mr. Montrose, says he has no authority to grant permits to ship cotton or other southern products, and that his authority is limited to receiving and taking charge of abandoned property.
There are, as you well know, families residing within our lines who are in really destitute circumstances, and have nothing but a little cotton to dispose of with which to purchase the necessaries of life. It was this class of persons, as I understand it, to whom order No. 57 was intended to apply, and I have aimed to have it carried out according to the spirit and the letter, and shall continue to let post commanders and local provost-marshals grant permits until the Treasury agent authority to do so.
General Tuttle's division is all ready to embark, and will do so as soon as boats can be provided. Some days ago I directed the master of transportation to keep boats enough here at all times to move a brigade, but the difficulty has been to get them.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. B. McPHERSON,
*See Part I, p.730.