of August), I have deemed it proper to instruct him to defer the execution of your order and of the instructions contained in your letter to him (which were forwarded to the headquarters of the Army, with my indorsement, on the 17th instant) until a decision on the question has been given by the same authority under which he was placed in command of the District of Vicksburg. Another reason which justifies, and in fact necessitates, this action on my part, is that General dana has been proposed tome by the headquarters of the army for assignment to another command, equally important to that of the SIXTEENTH Army Corps. I am awaiting certain reports before acting on this proposition; but whatever decision I may come to in regard to that assignment, I think you will agree with me as to the propriety of deferring the whole question until the pleasure of the War Department is known. The measures which I have recently adopted to frustrate the evident designs of the enemy to cross the Mississippi, make it equally necessary that General Dana should not at present be relieved from the command of the District of Vicksburg. I transmit for your information a copy of my indorsement on your order and letter to Major-General Dana, submitted by me to the headquarters of the army.
Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
ED. R. S. CANBY,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,
New Orleans, October 17, 1864.
Respectfully forwarded to the headquarters of the army.
I do not apprehend that there will be any differences between General Howard and myself. I know that I shall make none where any consideration of public interest is involved, but it may be well that the question should be settled for the government of subordinate officers. With regard to the Mississippi, I think the officer who is responsible should have undivided control of the resources in men and material, on both banks, and especially of its police, which at this time is of vital importance. I have already expressed the opinion that corps organizations, expect for armies in the field, are an embarrassment. All the troops on the MISSISSIPPI in forts or garrisons should, in my judgment, report direct to the commander of the department or district, and the excess, if any, be organized as reserves. I have advised General Dana that his assignment to the District of Vicksburg is by direction of the Secretary of War, and that he will retain that command until otherwise directed by the same authority. The troops taken from the posts on the eastern bank of the MISSISSIPPI for temporary service in Arkansas and Missouri will be returned so soon as the emergency requiring them there has passed away.
ED. R. S. CANBY,
GAYLESVILLE, ALA., October 26, 1864.
The Fourth Corps marches to-morrow for Chattanooga. Make arrangements to relieve John E. Smith's men at Resaca, and prepare to receive at Resaca and Chattanooga all the wounded and sick of this