CAIRO, ILL., March 11, 1864-midnight.
(Received 3. 35 a. m., 12th.)
Lieutenant-General GRANT or
Left General Sherman yesterday at Memphis. Command all safe. Our total loss, killed, wounded, and missing, 170 only. General result of his expedition, including Smith's and the Yazoo River movement, about as follows: One hundred and fifty miles railroad, 67 bridges, 7,000 feet trestle, 20 locomotives, 28 cars, 10,000 bales cotton, several steam-mills, and over 2,000,000 bushels corn were destroyed. Railroad destruction complete and through. Capture of prisoners exceeds our loss. Upward of 8,000 contraband and refugees came in with the various columns. Your dispatches by Captain Badeau received by General Sherman on the 9th. General Banks is person commands Red River expedition. Sherman sends A. j. Smith, with 10,000 men, to co-operate. It is expressly understood that they return in thirty days, by which time McPherson's furloughed men returned. Smith meets Bank's column at Alexandria on the 17th. I have dispatch from General Sherman. He directs me to proceed and deliver them to you. Where shall i find your? Please answer at Mitchell, if it will reach there by 4 p. m. of the 12th after that, Burnett House, Cincinnati.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
Memphis, March 11, 1864.
Honorable S. P. CHASE,
Secretary U. S. Treasury, Washington:
SIR: I venture to address you on a point in which you may be disposed to differ from me.
Before marching from Vicksburg for Meridian. I detached an expedition up the Yazoo to take advantage of the opportunity to inflict on that country a punishment merited for the connivance of its inhabitants in the attacks on the steam-boats navigating the Mississippi River.
I ordered the commanding officer to bring to Vicksburg 1,000 bales of cotton, to be deposited with your special agent at Vicksburg, coupled with the request that its proceeds should be applied to indemnify owners of steam-boats in whole or in part damaged by the public enemy.
I had no power oven such agent, and I also knew that he had no right to me such use and distribution, and or enemy's only used the language to assure steam-boats owners of my earners desire to remunerate them, so far as it lies in my power, for damages sustained when in the exercise of the war power. The 1,000 bales of cotton have been taken and are now in the hands of your special agents at Vicksburg, and I ask you to appropriate the proceeds of its sale to the purposes I have indicated. I know that such prompt indemnification will do good, more good than to throw the parties on Congress by way of petition for relief.
I contend that as a military commander I have a right by the laws, in no wise qualified by the acts of Congress, to make