NASHVILLE, March 4, 1864.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Department of the Tennessee:
You will be able better than I do judge how far the damage you have done the railroads about Meridian will disable the enemy from sending an army into Mississippi and West Tennessee with which to operate on the river; also what force will now be required to protect and guard the river. Use the negroes or negro troop more particularly for guarding plan actions and for the defense of the west bank of the river. The artillerists among them, of course, you will put in fortifications, but most of the infantry give to Hawkins to be used on the west bank. Add to this element of your forces what you deem an adequate force for the protection of the river from Cairo down as far as your command goes, and extend the command of one army corps to the whole of it. Assemble the balance of your forces at or near Memphis, and have them unreadiness to join your columns on this front in their spring campaign. Whether it will be better to have the march, meeting supplies sent up the Tennessee to Eastport, or whether they should be brought around to the latter place by steamers, can be determined hereafter. Add all the forces now under Dodge to the two corps, or to one of the two corps, you take into the field with you. Forces will be transferred from the Chattanooga and Nashville road to guard all the road now protected by your troops. If they are not sufficient, enough will be taken from elsewhere to leave all your for the field. I am ordered to Washington, but as I am directed to keep up telegraphic communication with this command, I shall expect in the course of ten or twelve days to return to it. Place the Marine Brigade under the command of the corps commander left on the Mississippi River. Give direction that it be habitually used for the protection of leased plantations, and will not pass below Vicksburg nor above Greenville, except by order of the corps commander of higher authority.
U. S. GRANT,
HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
No. 59 Pulaski, Tenn., March 4, 1864.
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5. Officers of the U. S. Coast Survey within this military division will take the assimilated rank of captain of engineers, and be respected accordingly. When stationed in cities they will be entitled to fuel and quarters in kind.
By order of Major General U. S. Grant:
T. S. BOWERS,
HDQRS. 2nd DIV., 16TH ARMY CORPS,
No. 50. Pulaski, Tenn., March 4, 1864.
I. The Seventh Iowa Veteran Volunteer Infantry will proceed at once with camp and garrison equipage to Prospect, Tenn., and relieve the Twenty-seventh Ohio Infantry Veteran Volunteers. This regiment (Seventh Iowa) will report through its proper brigade at this place.