HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Memphis, Tennessee, December 1, 1863.
Brigadier General N. B. BUFORD,
Commanding at Helena:
GENERAL: Your communication of the 28th, with your report of proceedings in cases of certain steamers, is received. The Treasury Department, with the approval of General Grant, have adopted a new system, the principal features of which will be formally communicated to you. So strong is the pressure on the Government to allow cotton brought forward, that it is useless to do any more that exercise a general supervision. The Treasury Department are the judges as to who shall or shall not go below to obtain cotton, and the clearances issued here and approved by me is evidence that they have given bonds. Rope, bagging, and twine may go without restrictions. Every other article of supply will be examined closely here, and permitted or rejected. It is of no use to attempt to close up the counties named in your former order so that no supplies can go. Unless all trade on the river is stopped we cannot stop it in partial limits where we have no force. But we can, and I am now preparing an order making each county responsible for guerrilla outrages. You will, therefore, not hereafter stop any boat regularly cleared and permitted; but if you have information that any owner of a lot of goods is disloyal, take that parcel of goods until he clears himself from that suspicion.
Persons are permitted by the Treasury officers to go below with money to buy cotton, or to pay for cotton already bought. This, also, is approved by General Grant; the Treasury agents being held responsible for the men whom they permit. Of course, articles contraband of war are never permitted, except whisky and occasionally a little medicine.
You will, by the adoption of this course, be relieved from much responsibility and labor, and have much more time to give to your military duties.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. A. HURLBUT,
UNION CITY, December 1, 1863.
Captain J. HOUGH,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Columbus, Ky.:
Not receiving a reply to my dispatch before noon yesterday, and being ordered to form a junction with the cavalry from the south, I pushed out to Edmonds' Ferry, 12 miles this side of Trenton, last night, and sent a scouting party across the Obion; also 1 man into Trenton. I received news from three different sources exactly confirming that brought by my spy, and sent to you yesterday morning.
Bell moved west into the edge of Dyer County to get supplies and to await the arrival of Forrest. Faulkner is at Trezevant with only his own regiment. He has sent two companies to Jackson to get arms from Forrest for him new recruits.
I had crossed the ferry this morning, and was going on to meet our cavalry when your telegrams were brought to me saying that they had been ordered back. Knowing that I could gain nothing by