Captain Owen last night, which was dispatched to ham by the Juliet, and all I ask of him is three or four light-draught boats to feel up the Yazoo with all caution as to the enemy and as tot he stage of water. We are all ready now to start, and only wait intelligence of a body of cavalry which is coming down from Columbus. I will be off to-morrow, and hope to reach Meridian by February 10. I do not think it to our interest to go beyond that point now till we can take Mobile and the Alabama River. I will be back in Vicksburg about March 25, and then if the water favor us we might look up the Red River. I have written to Generals Steele and Banks, and by a concert of action we should clear out Red River as high as Shreveport by April. We should no fail to use the present season of high water, and the orders form the War Department will, I think, enable us to act in full concert with you. I will write you again form Vicksburg. The river is very low, but, of course, as soon as the snow melts all the streams will rise, and it may be continue up into June.
I am, with great respect,
W. T. S HERMAN,
HDQRS. CHIEF OF CAVALRY, DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Memphis, January 26, 1864.
COMMANDING OFFICER, FOURTH U. S. CAVALRY,
March your regiment to Collierville. On your arrival there report by telegraph for orders.
By order of Brigadier General W. S. Smith:
WM. H. INGERTON,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Vicksburg, Miss., January 26, 1864.
Commanding Cavalry, Red Bone Church:
MAJOR: It is reported to me on good authority that a party of Whitaker's band, say 15 or 20, contemplate crossing the Big Black to-night in the vicinity of Hall's or Regan's Ferries, and will probably come over to Mrs. Stowe's place, or possibly to Nelian Kline's. I desire you to entrap and catch these outlaws, if you can.
I am also well satisfied that the Kline family, and especially Miss Kline,a re guilty of acting in bad faith toward our Government and imparting information to the enemy.
You will, therefore, take immediate steps to put the whole family across the Big Black, not to return to this side without written permission form the proper military authorities, under penalty of being dealt with as spies.
They will be permitted to take their household furniture and private clothing, and a complete inventory will be taken of what remains and a guard placed over it until it can be turned over to the U. S. Treasury agent.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. B. McPHERSON,