HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI, New Orleans, La., February 22, 1865. [Via Cairo, Ill.]
Major General GEORGE H. THOMAS:
Cavalry forces will move from Baton Rouge on the 1st proximo in the direction of Clinton and Liberty, on the New Orleans and Jackson Railroad; from Memphis on the 3rd in the direction of Grenada, and from Vicksburg on the 5th, avoiding Jackson, but cutting the railroad and telegraph wires below that place and striking the Mobile and Ohio Railroad at or near Winchester, and destroying as much of it as possible between that place and Mobile. A detachment of the latter force will destroy the communication between Jackson and Meridian. A cavalry force will at the same time move from Pensacola for the purpose of destroying the Mobile and Montgomery road between Pollard and Greenville, or as far up as it can safely go. The movements from Baton Rouge and Memphis will be demonstrations for the purpose of distracting the attention of the rebels from the movements from Vicksburg, but will operate against the railroad and telegraph lines as far as they can go. Any movement that you can make from Eastport threatening the road south of Corinth will produce the same effect, and any damage that may be done the rebels in that quarter will of course be of great service to our operations against Selma and Montgomery. A. J. Smith's force has just arrived. It is smaller than I anticipated, being only about 13,000 men, but I will be able to move with about 40,000 men.
E. R. S. CANBY,
NASHVILLE, [February] 23, 1865.
Make cipher dispatch, signed Canby, to General Thomas, from New Orleans, 16th,* read, viz, "to break up the railroad west of the Alabama, " instead of, viz, "of the Mississippi."
W. R. PLUM.
NASHVILLE, February 23, 1865.
Captain R. H. RAMSEY,
All ciphers for General Wilson have been detained somewhere. The operators at Johnsonville found it necessary to give them to Captain Johnson, assistant quartermaster at Johnsonville, for delivery to- steamers, and most, if not all, have been detained at his office until this evening, when they were sent by steamer Orr. General Wilson's cipher operator is at G. on his way to Nashville. I have sent you in English the cipher sent you for McReynolds to decipher. It is waiting for date at Johnsonville.
W. R. PLUM,