War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 0585 Chapter LIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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North agree that Lincoln is elected. Sherman has burned Atlanta, taken five army corps and gone, it is said, to Charleston, S. C., leaving Thomas with a sufficient force to look after Hood.

Truly, yours,


Assistant Adjutant-General.


Vicksburg, Miss., November 16, 1864.

Major General O. O. HOWARD,

Commanding Dept. and Army of the Tennessee, in the Field:

GENERAL: I regret reporting that I have been for several days past and still am confined to my room by sickness. I have been expecting daily to receive orders from Major-General Canby permitting me to proceed to Memphis. My last instructions from him were to remain here until I again heard from him. Nothing has been received from Major-General Washburn, at Memphis, to excite any apprehensions for the safety of that post. He has no force with which to operate offensively or move outside his lines. The only force here available for operations against the enemy is some 2,000 cavalry. If sent off the garrison would be reduced to 5,500 effective men, about 1,500 of whom are artillerists, and almost all colored. The crest of the fortifications of Vicksburg is about five miles long; you can estimate the strength of a necessary garrison. Memphis and Natchez are also as short in effective men as here. I mention these facts by way of prelude to show that, although I have been and am planning and studying the means of breaking the enemy's communications with Corinth, and am anxious to accomplish it in some way or other, I have not the means in hand to warrant the attempt at present. I anticipate a rise in the tributaries of the Mississippi, in which event I trust to execute it with what force I have, but it would be reckless for me to move my cavalry, with the necessary infantry and artillery force to promise support, by a long land march from this post, leaving Vicksburg exposed to and in danger of disaster before I could return. Large amounts of quartermaster's ordnance, commissary, and naval stores and leather are collected at Jackson, Miss. The naval stores and leather are being shipped to Montgomery, the other supplies to Corinth, which is a depot of supplies. From twenty-five to thirty car-loads a day are sent off from Jackson. The enemy has a brigade of cavalry and tow batteries at Livingston, another brigade of cavalry at Lexington, and forces at Clinton, Brookhaven, and Canton, Miss. All of Chalmers' forces are at and above Grenada. This evidently indicates watchfulness and a determination to defeat any effort of mine to break that line. Were I to attempt now to march on Canton to burn the Big Black bridge, I certainly would be met there, if not before, with largely superior forces. The rebel troops before referred to could concentrate before I could possibly reach the object of the march, and their railroad and telegraphic facilities are such that they could promptly mass troops from all points on their lines of communications. I consider the breaking of the road below Jackson, at which point it connects with Meridian, as being of but minor importance. As I understand from Major-General Rosecrans that the Right Wing of this corps is ordered to Middle Tennessee, I do not see any early prospect of such an increase of my command as will give me a sufficient column for field service and warrant any extended operations. The Third Division of this corps, now at-