at Haynes' Bluff with facilities for operating up Yazoo, and a similar brigade at Harrisonburg to maneuver up Washita an Tensas, you can cover the river perfectly.
But I have ordered McPherson to put Hawkins's brigade west of the river,t o be disposed according to your wishes, and he can add to Hawkins' command any other black troops not actually employed in the first at Vicksburg and Natchez. He will also direct such of the Marine Brigade as are not up Red River to protect the river between Vicksburg and Greenville to protect the planters and lessees, and when all the brigade of Elle's back, which will be in a mouth, they also will be devoted to the same and. As a speculation this a bad one. Every pound of cotton raised will cost the United States $500, and so far as effect is concerned it will not have one particle of effect on the main war.
As a matter of course I dislike to see such a mistake made at this period of the war, when we should at least have learned something by experience of our own. It would be far wiser to pension the lessees of the plantations.
In the end we must defend the Mississippi from the Yazoo and Washita, and if you agree with me I will promise 7,000 men on those rivers to cover and protect the plantations more perfectly than 50,000 could distributed along the banks of the Mississippi.
Since I sent up the Yazoo not a shot has been fired from the east bank of the Mississippi, and now that Admiral Porter has taken Trinity and Harrisonburg, the same could be done west. Transfer the fighting to the Yazoo and Washita, and you have pease on the Mississippi; but leave them uncovered, and 20 guerrillas will bread up any plantation you establish.
Nevertheless, I have instructed General McPherson to execute General Grant's orders, and when I meet General Grant I will explain to him what I was about.
I will await the return of this courier, and should like to hear from your. Them I must hasten to Huntsville to resume command of the army in the field. I will leave Hurlbut to command on the river with three full division and the local garrisons of Memphis, Vicksburg, and Natchez.
I am, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN,
HDQRS., 2nd DIV., 16TH ARMY CORPS,
Numbers 55. Pulaski, Tenn., March 11, 1864.
I. The commanding officer Eighty-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry will proceed without delay with that portion of his regiment now at this place to Lynnville, Tenn., to relieve the troops of the Third Brigade guarding railroad. one company will be dropped at railroad bridge above Reynolds' Station, relieving Captain Dykeman's company of the Thirty-ninth Iowa Infantry Volunteers. The headquarters of the regiment will be established at Lynnville or the station, but the largest force will be stationed at Culleoka, where there is an important trestle, and a competent officer will be sent in the command of the troops to be stationed at that place. Upon relieving the troops at the different bridges, &c., the officers so relieving will be careful to procure all written orders and instructions and