accomplish them so far as can be done under the strangely mixed state of things which exists along the river. We are in your command under Sherman, and must, accordingly, instinctively obey all orders from you. At the same time we are under the orders of the major-general commanding the Military Division of West Mississippi, and must obey all instructions received from him. Now, these orders have heretofore mostly conflicted, and you (the most distant immediate commander) must often have been disappointed in not having had your wishes literally fulfilled. On the other hand, Canby is sufficiently remote from this place and Memphis to have his orders for the movement of troops counteracted by previously-obeyed orders from yourself and Sherman. This District of Vicksburg is in a peculiar fix. It is composed of six posts, two large ones (Vicksburg and Natchez) and three medium sized (Davis' Bend, Milliken's Bend, and Goodrich's Landing), of a regiment of colored infantry each and a colored battery at each of the two latter, and one small post of four colored companies at Bullitt's Bayou, eight miles from Natchez. Before my arrival here the district had been almost completely swayed by two external powers, to wit, money in the possession of cotton speculators and political adventurers, and beauty in possession of rebel females, once lovely and with delicate sensibilities, now cunning, crafty, traitorous, and dangerous. Very many officers have been debauched by one or both of these, and these two powers actually held complete command and control of the lines of the army up to last summer. Bad as memphis is now siad to be, t his place and Natchez were much worse prior to Canby's advent. The post of New York was not more open than the towns on the Mississippi, and every one of them was worth tenfold more to the rebels than before occupation by us. The nation was disgraced and its sons and daughters debauched, and supplies of all kinds, including even arms, were freely carried out to the rebels. Communication was as free as between New York and Brooklyn, and your secrets, and Sherman's, Grant's, and Canby's were as well known in rebeldom as at Washington.
Now, knowing from experience how very provoking it is for a man in your fix, with your shoulders bent under a load, to bear the griefs and trubles of others, I apologize for the foregoing prelude, which I could lengthen to a quire, so much haveI felt about it, by informing you that it partially, if not wholly, accounts for my not yet having reached Memphis in accordance with your wishes. Canby has restrained me because he knows the danger of this district going right back again where it started from, and the almost impossibility of finding officers whe to do the work over again. A new regime has been initiated here, and it is all-important it should be continued. Canby forbade my leaving here until further instructions, and notified me that he had so informed you. I prepared, immediately on receipt of your first letter, to go to Memphis at a moment's notice, and expected to go so soon as General Dodge reached here. I have been ready to go ever since, and now expect to go daily. I have written Canby that it was imperatively necessary and shall probably receive his sanction in three or four days. Still, Memphis is much better commanded by Washburn (that is the only post in his district) than this district would be here now in my absence. Washburn's dispatches make me easy about it at present. About ten days ago Canby came here very unexpectedly on hiw way to Little Rock and Memphis. He repassed here three days ago on his way down to New Orleans, seriously wounded. He was wounded in going up White River, and did not succeed in reaching either Little Rock or Memphis. He reiterated his instructions