can be more safety guarded front the east by an occasional trip up the Yazoo, if possible as far as Greenwood.
I am en route for Memphis and will soon return, an will attempt a movement that will, I trust, have a permanent effect on the movements of the enemy, and especially so far as heavy masses with artillery are concerned.
I am, with great respect, your, truly,
W. T. SHERMAN,
Major-General, Commanding Department.
[JANUARY 18, 1864.]
Statement of Rev. Hiram Douglass, who says that from reliable information, which he has recently come in possession of, that General Wheeler lost 70 per cent, of his forces since he has command of the rebel cavalry, and that at the recent fight at Charleston, Bradley Country, their losses were heavy and it was the most perfect stampede they ever experienced. Wheeler being in command in person.
One of my reports says that Wheeler, after the above fight, was cashiered for drunkenness in the time of the fight, and the other one says if he was not would be, and that Buckner would succeed him if he had not done so already; and further that the commands of the rebel army had now forwarded a petition to their authorities at Richmond asking them to petition the U. S. Government to grant them an armistice for six months for the purpose of seeing if some definite terms of a treaty of peace could not be agreed upon. They also stated to their authorities the destitute and demoralized condition which their troops were in, their rations being exceedingly hard and getting worse, it being composed at least one-half of the time of dry corn-bread. All the meat they have is a small quantity procured from the Everglades in Florida. And further, that if the President's proclamation, with General Grant's order, was freely circulated among them, that in a few months it would entirely depopulate their army. They are now beginning to get copies of it. The officers state publicly that it is a lamentable fact, which they cannot hide any long from their own people, that their ranks are becoming woefully thin by desertion, and that dozens are now wearing ball and chain, having been caught in the act of desertion, and many are from time to time being shot. They are now giving publicity to the following statement in their ranks: That deserters who are now leaving them are going into Middle Tennessee to join Forrest, who there at the head of 20,000 cavalry, and that he, Forrest had completely destroyed the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad. These rumors are currently circulated in their camps for the purpose of still holding them together, which is only one of the many means of intrigue and deception which they have made use of to deceive their own people and restore confidence in their fast sinking cause, but all to no avail.
P. S.- They have now in contemplation a desperate raid, soon to be made up the Tennessee Valley, diving at Georgetown, one portion going to Cleveland and one to Harrison, in which raid they intend sweeping everything before them.