War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0185 Chapter XLIV. THE MERIDIAN EXPEDITION.

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officer (Colonel Coates), who will be instructed to act in perfect concert with you. He will not take artillery, as the gun-boats will have that, and it is not designated he should operate far from your boats. Should you find and enemy at Satartia or Yazoo City, I want them engaged, whether you drive them off or not. The moment they find I have crossed Big Black they will make off. Then pass up the Yazoo as far as possible - to Greenwood; destroy all flats or means used by the enemy to cross from the east to the west; take all C. S. A. cotton you choose as prize, and the transport boats will be ordered to take the private cotton which is abandoned or held by disloyal citizens to barricade their engines and to bring it away to be sold, to make a fund out of which to indemnify the owners of boats that have been destroyed or damaged by the enemy. Impress on the people along Yazoo and Sunflower that we intend to hold them responsible for all acts of hostility to the river commerce.

The planters along the Mississippi have been damaged enough, and it is now their turn to feel that war may reach their doors. If the enemy burns cotton we don't care. It is their property and not ours, but so long as they have cotton, corn, horses, or anything, we will appropriate it or destroy it so long as their confederates in war act in violence to us and our lawful commerce. thaw must be active friends or enemies. They cannot be silent or neutral. I have ordered up the Marine Brigade (General Ellet) to replace your division of light-draught gun-boats. I think now is the time, with almost absolute certainly that the Yazoo will be on the rise, for us to make a good impression on the Yazoo and Sunflower country. If the planters find that we can make a yearly visitation and clean up old scores they will give less encouragement to the enemy, which has heretofore crossed over to the Mississippi and annoyed our steam-boats. They may protest against our holding them responsible for the acts of the Confederate authorities, but in war we have a perfect right to produce results in our own way, and should not scruple too much at the means, provided they are effectual. i would like you to be prepared to explore the Yazoo and Sunflower Rivers perfectly, and think you should take three weeks or a month in the operation. A force of about 3,200 men, under General They, will occupy Haynes' Bluff, and you can communicate through him with the admiral or myself. Do not hesitate take any kind of provisions or five-wood, for the enemy must not only pay for damages inflicted on our commerce but for the expenses incurred in the suppression. You may assure the inhabitants from me that the moment they can assure us that order and peace are preserved along the Yazoo and Mississippi abreast of them they will be allowed free commerce and intercourse with Vicksburg.

I am, with respect, &c.,

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General.

[Inclosure Numbers 8.]

SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS,

HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE TENNESSEE,

In the Field, near Decatur, Miss., February

Numbers 16.

11, 1864.

I. To expedite our march the following dispositions are ordered to be made during to-morrow, to go into effect the next day, viz, February 13: to each regiment will be allowed two wagons - one for cartridges and one for bread and cooking utensils - and two ambulances.