On the return of the Red River expedition, Brigadier-General Mower's division will stop at Memphis and he subject to your orders. The remainder of the force under Brigadier General A. J. Smith will move as heretofore directed, up the Tennessee River via Cairo.
Major General C. C. Washburn is ordered to Memphis to assume command of the forces in that vicinity, and Brigadier-General Prince to Columbus, Ky. Colonel Hicks remains in command at Paducah.
You will for the present take post at Cairo and assume general control of the movements against Forrest.
All the troops along the Mississippi River must act with vigor against any force of the enemy within striking distance.
Paducah, Cairo, Columbus, Memphis, Vicksburg, and Natchez should be held at all hazards, and all minor points which are exposed should be evacuated.
The colored troops within your jurisdiction are under your control and cannot be moved or their station changed without your orders. There are two regiments of colored troops organized under authority of Brigadier General L. Thomas, Adjutant-General, from men in contraband camps not physically qualified for active service, which have never been borne on our returns, but have employed guarding these camps, under the direction of Colonel Eaton, general superintendent of freedmen.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. B. McPHERSON,
HDQRS. DEPT. AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
Huntsville, Ala., April 19, 1864.
Major General H. W. SLOCUM.
Commanding District of Vicksburg, Vicksburg, Miss.:
GENERAL: In pursuance of orders from Lieutenant General U. S. Grant,you will immediately make up as large a force as you can from the troops at and in the vicinity of Vicksburg, leaving a sufficient garrison for the place to make it secure against any contingency.
With this force you will operate up the Yazoo River, and push out from Yazoo City to threaten Grenada, in order to prevent any more of Lee's cavalry from being sent to North Mississippi and Tennessee. Strike at the enemy wherever you can, so as to keep him occupied and engage his attention in that quarter.
Frequent demonstrations should be made in the direction of Clinton and Raymond, and the commanding officer at Natchez should be instructed to operate inland from Natchez on both sides of the river very often.
The line of the Big Black from its mouth up to Birdsong's Ferry and thence across to Haynes' Bluff should be held, and the latter point especially, which gives us control of the Yazoo River, should not be given up except in an emergency. Consult with the officers in command of the gun-boats up the Yazoo River, who will co-operate with you.
It is not expected that you will with your present force occupy Yazoo City or any point in the interior permanently, but make expeditions to them, when it can be done advantageously.
Vicksburg and Natchez must be held at all hazards, and the enemy prevented from obtaining a lodgment on the river to prevent the passage of boats.