repairing from Nashville to Decatur, but I am assured that it shall be temporary. Be sure to reduce the armament and ammunition at Corinth to its mere local wants. For my part I wish all the railroads were taken up and Corinth left to its native nothingness; it is a nuisance. The Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers must be held securely forever and all else be secondary. Write me fully and privately to Nashville, but I will be personally with the Fifteenth Corps.
W. T. SHERMAN,
WINCHESTER, November 12, 1863.
General G. M. DODGE,
Pulaski via Columbia:
The Fifteenth Army Corps got here yesterday and is now pushing on for Bridgeport. I sent you General Grant's orders from Fayetteville, to the effect that you cover the repairs of the railroad from Nashville to Decatur, remaining at or near Athens for further orders. Whilst at Pulaski let your mounted men hunt out the pests that infest that country. Show them no mercy, and if the people don't suppress guerrillas, tell them your orders are to treat the community as enemies. If they keep order and quiet, then pay for corn and hogs, &c., or give vouchers, but eat up all the supplies, grain, hogs, and cattle of Elk River.
W. T. SHERMAN,
HDQRS. LEFT WING, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Pulaski, Tennessee, November 12, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel J. J. PHILLIPS,
Commanding Ninth Illinois:
You will proceed to Athens, Ala., with your command, and hold that point as an outpost and as your point to operate from. Watch the movements of the enemy, and gain all the information you can of the enemy, both north and south of the Tennessee. The object of our stay here is to open the railroad from Columbia to Decatur, and on your march down you will have the railroad thoroughly examined and report condition. Colonel Fuller's command will be at Prospect as a base for you to fall back upon. Colonel Fuller will be instructed to support you, and all information you obtain that appertains to movements of troops on that front that will affect his command, you will report to him at the same time you do to me. A reconnaissance to opposite Decatur will be made as soon as possible, and condition of railroad south of Athens ascertained. It is very important that I should know the movements of the enemy on south men for that purpose. You will keep me fully advised of all movements of importance, and if you consider it best, keep your camp with Colonel Fuller's advance. Consult with Colonel Fuller freely, and act, so far as your orders admit, in co-operation with him.
By order of Brig. Gen. G. M. Dodge:
J. W. BARNES,
Lieutenant and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.