HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WEST TENNESSEE,
Memphis, Tenn., March 4, 1865.
Major General GEORGE H. THOMAS,
Commanding Mil. Div. of the Mississippi, Nashville, Tenn.:
I telegraphed you yesterday of my arrival here and that, pursuant to orders from the War Department, I would assume command to-day. I have sent you to-day a copy of the last tri-monthly, showing the number of troops reporting to the district commander to be about 4,000. I also sent you a copy of the last report of the cavalry to the department commander. This cavalry has not, since General Dana took command of the Department of Mississippi, reported to the district commander, but directly to him. He desired that it should not report to me until General Canby could be heard from, as he was anxious to take one of the brigades, at least, with him to Vicksburg. When General Dana came from Vicksburg to Memphis he brought a brigade of cavalry with him, and if it was necessary for it to be here while he remained here it is equally necessary now. There is no necessity for it at Vicksburg, or at least there is no more need there than when I was there, and, indeed, much less, for General Knipe is now in that department with a division of 4,000 of your cavalry. This is a point from which cavalry can be used to good advantage, and I hope that you will hold on to it, unless it should be more wanted somewhere else. I shall be glad to have from you, as soon as possible, your views of the policy to be pursued in this district. There is now no organized force of the enemy in West Tennessee. The people are heartily sick and disgusted with the war, and with a little encouragement I think that they may be quieted down and induced to go about their business once more. I think that I may safely define our lines of military occupation as covering the whole district, and permit the people such necessary supplies as will enable them to cultivate their farms and plantations; also to bring in and dispose of the products of their labor without being subjected to the system that has prevailed lately, under which they have been subjected to great imposition. I think, too, that rebel soldiers who belong in West Tennessee may be invited to go home with the assurance that they will not be molested if they will take the oath and remain there quietly.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. C. WASHBURN,
HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF WEST MISSISSIPPI, Numbers 63.
New Orleans, La., March 4, 1865.
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16. Captain Lawrence Rhoades, commissary of subsistence of volunteers, will proceed without delay to Barrancas, Fla., and report to Major General F. Steele for assignment to duty.
17. Captain E. S. Jones, commissary of subsistence of volunteers, will proceed without delay to Mobile Bay, Ala., and report to the commanding general and chief commissary of the District of West Florida and South Alabama for assignment to duty.
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By order of Major General E. R. S. Canby:
C. T. CHRISTENSEN,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.