towns as possible. The present Garrison of Memphis, save the negro regiment, should form the nucleus of one of the infantry divisions named and encamp, say, at Germantown, where they can march island or into Memphis for embarkation on one day's notice. Make the civil authorities guard their own towns, and hold them responsible that they preserve good order and government. Let the agents of the U. S. Treasury Department manage exclusively all matters of trade and internal intercourse. This is clearly the law of Congress, and if it be wise or unwise it is not for us to say. This will manifest itself in due time, and in the mean time it sets free the hosts of local guards and officers whose time has therefore been absorbed in civil matters. I expect you to command of the two divisions of infantry in the field. In assigning and transferring regiments under this order, I advise to organize Dodge's command into two divisions, adding to this present command say two or three more regiments, which can by him be reported detached. You might send to Dodge one or more brigadiers. Please report to me to-morrow, or next day at furthers, your action under this order, as I will go to Vicksburg and return before we actually move, but all must be complete in ten days at further.
I am, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN,
[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
Vicksburg, January 17, 1864.
Major General JAMES B. McPHERSON,
Commanding Seventeenth Army Corps, Vicksburg, Miss.:
DEAR GENERAL: I have the statement showing the number of troops at the different posts and stations in your command, and am well satisfied with the aggregate. I believe we now have at our disposal here and at Memphis an available force adequate to break the enemy's railroad communications with the State of Mississippi. I mean to break up the railroad at Meridian and as far as east as Demopolis. I propose to go back to Memphis, and about the 24th or 25th instant to start a force of cavalry of about 7,000, under command of Brigadier General William Sooy Smith, to move from La Grande via Ripley, Pontotoc,a nd Columbus, down to Meridian, following substantially the Mobile and Ohio Road, breaking it at numerous points. At the same time I will embark two divisions of infantry of the Sixteenth Corps, under Major-General Hurlbut, and hasten to Vicksburg, where they will disembark and march, via Messinger's, Jackson, Brandon, &c., to Meridian, timing our march so as to co-operate with the cavalry. I want you to make up two divisions of infantry, artillery, and cavalry to march at the same time via Big Black bridge, Champion's Hill, Jackson, &c. I will command in person. I will depend on you to provide pontoons and bridge material for crossing General Hurlbut's command at Messinger's, and also a bridge near the old railroad bridge for your own command, so that no delay may occur there. On arrival at jackson, we can make a bridge over the Pearl out of material there. I want your command to be about 10,000 aggregate, and your artillery to embrace at least two 20-pounder Parrots and a battery of either 10-pounder Parrotts or 3 inch Rodman guns. We must leave Vicksburg safe in any