I made the order for Tuttle's division on General Grant's and regretted it, as I would prefer you should be strong as possible. Sooner or later an army of considerable magnitude must move from Vicksburg due east clear to Selma, and I regret that we cannot attempt it now.
I see no signs here of any purpose of the enemy to invade Tennessee unless it be in the eastern part, and General will be forced to cross the Tennessee River and seek the enemy. The high table hills known as the Raccoon and Lookout ridges are strong defensive positions, but are so extensive that I doubt if Bragg will fight much short of the Coosa or its branches, Etowah and Oostenaula, but of this in time.
I have two divisions Fifteenth Army Corps here and two more close behind to arrive to-day. I have another division made up out of the Sixteenth Corps of about 8,000 men, commanded by General Dodge, that I am ordered to leave near Athens to repair the railroad from Nashville to Decatur, but am assured by General Grant when we do move none of my command shall be on railroads.
I cannot at this distance give you any orders, but leave you to do what is right, and have written to Admiral Porter to communicate with you as fully as possible. Of course you know the admiral well enough to be assured that he will do anything in his power to promote unity and harmony of action. He forwarded a complaint made by an officer commanding a gun-boats against a party of soldiers detached from Natchez. It is to our interest to conciliate the inhabitants along the river, and I know you will do all you can for that end. He also sent me a sketch,* which I inclose, suggesting the posting a small force at a point of the Mississippi where the Red River approaches within a few miles, marked B. I leave this also to your judgment.
I understand the Ellet brigade and fleet are to be transferred to us. If so, I will give you the brigade and a great part of the fleet.
I wish you and Hurlbut to correspond and act in concert.
Should affairs here take a lull, I would run round to Memphis and Vicksburg, as, I confess, my heart is in the great river.
W. T. SHERMAN,
MEMPHIS, November 9, 1863.
Dispatch of 7th [6th] received; orders forward to McPherson; shall Tuttle's division when relieved march to Eastport or move by
steam-boats to Nashville or Waterloo? General Davidson was here
to-day; he has a division of 6,000 splendid cavalry and twenty pieces of artillery. This force thrown into Mississippi can destroy Canton, Grenada, Columbus, and sweep up to Tuscumbia or such other point as you may determine, and operate as the strongest flank movement on Bragg. He is anxious to do it and join you. There is no hope of active service in Arkansas for them, and if the Department will authorize Steele to mount his own regiments, and furnish