HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
On board Westmoreland, near Memphis, March 10, 1864.
Major General U. S. GRANT,
Commanding Division of the Mississippi, Nashville:
GENERAL: Captain Badeay found me yesterday on board this boat and delivered his dispatches.
I had anticipated your orders by ordering Veatch's division of Hurlbut's corps at once to Dodge, via the Tennessee River, and had sent A. J. Smith up Red River with 10,000 men, to be absent not over thirty days, when I designed Smith's division of about 6,000 men also to come round. We must furlough near 10,000 men, and by the time they come back the Red River trip will be made, and I can safely re-enforce my army near Huntsville with 15,000 veterans. I sent you by General Butterfield full details of all past events and dispositions, which will meet your approval.
As to the negroes, of course on arrival at Memphis I will cause your orders to be literally executed. A clamor was raised by lessors by my withdrawal of Osband (400) from Skipwith's and General Hawkins' brigade (2,100) from Goodrich's. I transferred them to Haynes' Bluff to operate up Yazoo, and the effect was instantaneous. Not a shot has been fired on the river since. I also designed to put a similar force at Harrisonburg to operate up the Washita, which would secure the west bank from Red River to Arkansas. Admiral Porter immediately feasible. I assert that 3,000 men at Haynes' Bluff and 3,000 at Harrisonburg would more effectually protect the plantation lessors than 50,00 men scattered along the shores of the Mississippi. You know the geography so well that I need not demonstrate my assertion.
I understand that General Lorenzo Thomas has passed down to Vicksburg, and am sorry I did not see him, but as soon as I reach Memphis to-day I will send orders below and show him how much easier it will be for us to protect the Mississippi by means of the Yazoo and Washita Rivers than by merely guarding the banks of the Mississippi.
After awaiting to observe the effect of recent changes, i will hasten round to Huntsville, to prepare for the big fight in Georgia. Fix the time for crossing the Tennessee and I will be there.
W. T. SHERMAN,
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Vicksburg, Miss., March 10, 1864.
Captain J. O. PULLEN,
Provost-Marshal, Seventeenth Army Corps:
CAPTAIN: It being reported that something like 350 bales of cotton brought [was] in from the east side of Big Black within the last four weeks and claimed as private property, though there is very strong presumptive evidence that it was Confederate cotton, the mark C. S. A. on the head of the bales having been removed by changing the end and marched "T. S. Dabney" in stencil on the sides, and this cotton having been shipped to New Orleans to-day, you will proceed down the river by first conveyance, and if possible overhaul the