gentlemen had proper permits to purchase cotton in the counties bordering on the river in the States of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama, from the supervising agents of the Treasury.
The supplies that the S. C. Baker took up the river were all distributed under the personal supervision of a Treasury agent. Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Jason Goudy, commanding the U. S. steamer Tawah, convoyed the Baker, and his orders from me were to see that no supplies were put on shore where they could fall into the hands of rebels; this he did do.
The papers of the Baker and the permits for family supplies were all correct and in accordance with the requisitions of the Treasury Department, for "commercial intercourse with and in States declared to be in insurrection," and the General Orders of the War and Navy Departments, annexed thereto, direct that "all officers of the Army or Navy shall not permit, prohibit, or in any manner interfere with any trade or transportation conducted under the regulations of the Secretary of the Treasury."
The officers commanding convoys in this river are attentive in a high degree to their duty, and I know that they would not permit any violation of any order or regulation of the Government.
The Baker is now in the river again with supplies, permitted by the collector of customs in Paducah, Ky., about 10 miles below Savannah. I have directed Acting Volunteer Lieutenant E. M. King, commanding U. S. steamer Key West, who is convoying her, not to go any farther up the river; to seize her if any relative of General Roddey is on board, or if any one on board has a permit to trade given by General Roddey, and to take her to Cairo.
Supplies were permitted by General Sherman to be sent up the river partly upon my representation of the extreme necessity of the families living on the banks of the river, many of whom I knew to be loyal to the Government at times when Union men were hunted like wild beasts.
I shall do all in my power to prevent supplies of any kind from falling into the hands of rebels.
I have certain information that the rebel Roddey has gone with his command into the State of Georgia. There may be a few stragglers from his force on the west or southern side of the Tennessee River, but I believe that there are no rebels in arms near the places where the Baker has been trading.
I have directed Acting Volunteer Lieutenant King to afford the S. C. Baker every facility in buying cotton on the lower part of the river, provided he finds her to be all right.
I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,
JAMES W. SHIRK,
Lieutenant-Commander, Commanding 7th District Miss. Squadron.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE, Meridian, Miss., February 17, 1864.
Major General S. A. HURLBUT,
Commanding Sixteenth Army Corps:
GENERAL: The general commanding directs that you will move your corps to the vicinity of Marion, with one division on the Selma road and one on the Mobile and Ohio road, and prosecute the destruction