to march via Monroe and he across the country or up the river. Grant's orders are silent, but I infer that if Banks makes the expedition we are to be auxiliary, in which event I propose to send General Hurlbut's corps, viz, the divisions of A. J. Smith, Tuttle, and Veatch; but to make matters clear I will take a fleet steamer and run down to Red River to see Admiral Porter and thence to New Orleans and be back to meet you at Vicksburg by the 6th. I send by Vernay orders for you to leave March 3 unless in the mean time you hear of General Sooy Smith, when General McPherson must support him if he needs it and escort him into the Big Black to await my return. I met your trains going out, and will have three days' supply for each of you at Haynes' Bluff and bridge. I send back with Vernay the dismounted men of the Fourth Iowa remounted. There are at Big Black 500 recruits for Hurlbut, and Tuttle has received his share. You can on arrival at Vicksburg furlough, say, one-half the men entitled to furloughs, provided it does not exceed one regiment to a brigade. Appeal to the others on the ground of patriotism. I may be troubled to find boats enough for Hurlbut's command, as the quartermasters at Saint Louis telegraphs that Banks has taken forty boats, and we must get some down here by stopping those in transition. Bingham will remain here to attend to this. The Yazoo expedition is up at Yazoo City, and it might be well for General Hurlbut to communicate with it, as he passes near. I make the order for Hurlbut to come down that way, because I think he will find more forage than on the road I came. Everything is quiet here and everywhere. This whole country has been alarmed by reports of us, but I hope they will soon be relieved. Sooy Smith did not leave Memphis until the 11th-one day after he should have been at Meridian. If he meets with trouble he must take it to himself; but should he come within reach of Canton I want McPherson to feel out for him and bring him in, but I suppose he will strike Winslow's trail and follow it in. Captain Vernay will bring out all newspapers and mail. I will be back by the time you reach Vicksburg.
W. T. SHERMAN,
FEBRUARY 28, 1864
General W. S. Smith went as far south as West Point, Miss., at which point and at Okolona had severe fights with forces of Forrest, Chalmers, and Roddey. Feel back fighting to the Tallahatchie, and thence without fighting to Memphis. Said to have taken 300 prisoners and to have destroyed much corn, cotton, and railroad.
H. T. REID,
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Canton, Miss., February 28, 1864
GENERAL: Captain Gile, aide-de-camp, has just returned from the cavalry on the Shoccoe road, and reports that the enemy has