“I did not say 30,000 troops at Shelbyville, but at Abbeville”

Replied to Gen. Halleck, “I did not say 30,000 troops at Shelbyville, but at Abbeville, which is south of Holly Springs, on the road to Grenada. I made a report of all I knew of the capture of the train, and sent by way of Columbus, Ky. I have kept all my cavalry force on the road from here to Germantown most of the time since my arrival in Memphis. The balance the southeast of the line from here.

“I heed as little of the floating rumors about the city as any one. I only gave you the statement of a man from Okolona, who has fled from there with no intention of returning until he can go under the Federal flag. I do not credit his report as to east numbers, but believe the Tallahatchie Bridge is being repaired, and that a considerable force is at Abbeville. I know, not from rumor, that M. Jeff. Thompson and Jackson are both to the southeast of us. I have added for the Eleventh Illinois Cavalry, now at Corinth, that I might do effectually what you now ask why I have not done.

“Stampeding is not my weakness. On the contrary, I will always execute any order to the best of my ability with the means at hand. Immediately on taking command here I ordered troops from my command at Jackson and Bolivar, where they could be spared, that I might have the force to guard effectually the road from here to where guarded by General Sherman. Your orders have countermanded mine. It will be very difficult, however, to prevent the occasional taking up of a rail or cutting of a wire, as troops of my command passed the scene of the late catastrophe before it occurred and after, on the same day. I do not see that there has been move culpable neglect than was shown by Beauregard in permitting the road from Corinth to Bethel to be cut by my forces on the road south of him, by Colonel Elliott. As all the dispositions of the forces of the Army of the Tennessee have been made without my orders, and in most cases is expressly placed under the control of General McPherson, who had his agent here, and as I have never been directed to place any troops on the road, certainly no blame can attach to me.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 5, p 168-9

O.R., I, xvii, part 2, 46-7

Gen. Halleck: “Where is Shelbyville? I can’t find it on any map.”

Received telegram in reply from Gen. Halleck, “You say 30,000 men are at Shelbyville to attack La Grange. Where is Shelbyville? I can’t find it on any map. Don’t believe a word about an attack in large force on La Grange or Memphis. Why not send out strong reconnaissance and ascertain the facts? It looks very much like a mere stampede. Floating rumors must never be received as facts. Order an investigation of the loss of the train and capture of our men by a force of the enemy and report the facts. I mean to make somebody responsible for so gross a negligence.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 5, p 168

O.R., I, xvii, part 2, 46

“Thirty thousand men said to be at Abbeville [MS], intending to march on La Grange”

June 29, 1862 Sent telegram to Gen. Halleck, “A man through from Okolona [MS] reports that there are but 3,000 troops at that place. Columbus [MS] is being strongly fortified. Thirty thousand men said to be at Abbeville [MS], intending to march on La Grange as soon as the Tallahatchie Bridge is repaired. This I telegraphed via Columbus, Ky., while the direct line was down.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 5, p 167

O.R., I, xvii, part 2, 46

“Gunboats have left here to co–operate in the attack on Vicksburg.”

June 28 1862 Wrote Gen. Halleck, “News has just been received from Commodore Farragut. Gunboats have left here to co–operate in the attack on Vicksburg. A land force of 13,000 is said to be up from New Orleans. One, if not two, gunboats will be here in the morning from mouth of White River. I have sent a force from here, and thus opened again the telegraph communication; will endeavor to keep it so. I have written and telegraphed via Columbus, Ky.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 5, p 166

O.R., I, xvii, part 2, 43

“There is great disloyalty manifested by the citizens of this place”

June 27 1862 Wrote Gen. Halleck, “Between Jackson’s and M. Jeff. Thompson’s force, with the weak force here, I fear that it will be impossible for me to keep the railroad open from here to Grand Junction and at the same time keep this city in subjection. There is great disloyalty manifested by the citizens of this place and undoubtedly spies and numbers of the Southern Army are constantly finding their way in and out of the city in spite of all vigilance.

“There is every probability that an attempt will be made to burn the city, and no doubt from the extent to be guarded it will prove partially successful. This, however, is a matter which will operate more against the rebels than ourselves.

“The regiment sent from here to repair the railroad has just returned. I ordered it to remain as a guard to the road until further orders were received, but as this order was carried by the colonel of this regiment, and he having been take prisoner before reaching his command, it returned here in obedience to previous orders. I have sent our to Germantown, or to the point where the railroad in broken, to-day a regiment of infantry and five companies of cavalry. They go with three days’ rations; but as some cars and locomotives have just arrived I will keep those troops there if practicable until troops from Bolivar can relieve them. I will make the effort to keep the road and telegraph open.

“As I am without instructions I am a little in doubt as to my authority to license and limit trade, punish offenses committed by citizens, and in restricting civil authority. I now have two citizens (prisoners) for murder, whom I shall have tried by a military commission and submit the findings and sentence to you. All communication is prevented south of our lines as far as our guards can prevent it. There is a board of trade established to regulate what goods are authorized to be received and who authorized to sell. I think it will be necessary to also to established some sort of court to settle private claims.

“When a direct channel for mails is opened I will submit to you a copy of all orders published for the government of the city.

“I would again urge the importance of having here one division of the Army of the Tennessee ordered from Corinth.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 5, p 165-6

O.R., I, xvii, part 2, 41-42

“Jackson’s forces came in on the railroad near Germantown yesterday and captured the train with all on board”

June 26 1862 Wrote Gen. Halleck, “News has just reached me, or reached me during the night, that [Conf. Col. William H.] Jackson’s forces came in on the railroad near Germantown [TN, about fifteen miles southeast of Memphis] yesterday and captured the train with all on board, and also the wagon train loaded with supplies for General Sherman’s division; also cut the road. Day before yesterday I heard of Jackson being 20 miles southeast from here, intending to make a raid upon this wagon train, with a view of destroying it, at their camping place for last night. I immediately issued orders for the cavalry here to accompany this train to their camp ground for last night, and if deemed advisable accompany them this morning to beyond danger.

“The wagon train left the evening this order was published, going out of the city to encamp. The additional escort followed in the morning, and with the usual cavalry stupidity took the wrong road, thus leaving the train protected only with the escort furnished by General Sherman. As this last force followed on after the capture it is not at all improbable that they too have been taken.  My information is all from citizens who came in last night, and may not be strictly reliable.

“Accompanying the railroad train was a letter to yourself and one to General Sherman, which I am very sorry to have (these letters), particularly the former, fall into the hands of the rebels. Colonel Griegson, commander of the cavalry sent from here, has just returned from Germantown and discredits the reports of the captured of our trains. He says that Jackson’s men have been hovering along the line of the railroad in squads burning cotton; that cotton was burned yesterday at three or four places visited by him.

“An impression seems to prevail here that a force is collecting 35 miles southeast from here for the purpose of making an attack on this place and burning it.

“My force now here is small, having sent two regiments to re-enforce Colonel Fitch and to protect five steamers loaded with supplies for General Curtis’ command. Three steamers are now ready to start. I have had precautionary measures taken to protect the pilots from musketry.

“I reported to you the effective strength of this command, but you may not have received it. As my office and quarters have been moved to the suburbs of the city, and all the records are there, I cannot now give you the exact strength. I believe the entire effective force left, after re-enforcing Colonel Fitch, is about 4,000. It seems to me that one of the divisions of the Army of the Tennessee now at Corinth should move west, so as to strengthen this point by another division. This would enable me to hold Hernando or some suitable point on the railroad to Grenada.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 5, p 159-161

O.R., I, xvii, part 2, 36-37

“I am informed that a body of rebel troops are now trying to get in north of General Curtis” in Arkansas

June 25 1862, Received telegram from Gen. Halleck, “If your information from Arkansas is such as to render it safe for the expedition to ascend White River, send all of Colonel Slack’s forces to re-enforce Colonel Fitch and open a communication with General Curtis. If the boats cannot get up the river, we must repair the railroad. Have we no gunboats at White River?”

I replied, “I will, with your approval, send such of the boats now loaded with supplies for General Curtis as can ascend the White River, re-enforcing Colonel Fitch with two regiments from here. There are two gunboats at the mouth of the White River, but they cannot ascend over 60 miles with the present stage of water.

“I would recommend, on consultation with Captain Phelps, that two or three light-draught steamers be fitted up to keep open the communication with General Curtis.

“I am informed that a body of rebel troops are now trying to get in north of General Curtis; also learn that Bragg is occupying the line from Vicksburg to Jackson, Tenn., intending to make that their line. This seems to have come from a rebel soldier, writing to his friends here. I give it as received for what it is worth.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 5, p 155-6

O.R., I, xiii, 117-8

“you can compel all clergymen within your lines to omit from their church services any portion you may deem treasonable”

Col. Hillyer wrote Brig. Gen. Stephen A. Hurlbut, “I am directed by Major-General Grant to say to you that you can compel all clergymen within your lines to omit from their church services any portion you may deem treasonable, but you will not compel the insertion or substitution of anything.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 5, p 150

O.R., I, xvii, part 2, 30

“Affairs in this city seem to be in rather bad order, secessionists governing much in their own way.”

June 24 1862, Wrote Gen. Halleck, “I arrived here yesterday afternoon after a warm ride of three days, coming through from La Grange with an escort of 12 men. The entire road is in good order and a very fine one.

“Affairs in this city seem to be in rather bad order, secessionists governing much in their own way. I have appointed Colonel Webster commander of the post; Lieutenant-Colonel Anthony, Twenty-third Indiana Volunteers, provost-marshal for the city, and Colonel Hillyer provost-marshal-general. In a few days I expect to have everything in good order.

“I inclose you herewith report of J. A. Duble, of gunboat Conestoga, relative to the disaster of the Mound City. The prisoners spoken of are now here, and such disposition will be made of them as you may direct. I have not been here along enough to determine the practicability of furnishing General Curtis by the way of White River; but on consultation with Captain Phelps, of the Navy, I think it can be done by preparing two light-draught steamers so that the boilers would be proof against musketry, and arming them with two howitzers on the bows. An infantry escort would have to accompany each boat, ready to take the shore and march past threatened points.

“On my arrival General Wallace applies for a leave of absence. I granted it to the extent of my authority, the command being left with General Hovey, who is fully qualified to fill the place of the former commander.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 5, p 149-50

O.R., I, xvii, part 2, 29-30

“I have just arrived, tired and dusty, having made the entire distance on horseback.”

June 23 1862, Received telegram from Gen. Halleck, “Ascertain condition of railroad from Memphis west toward Little Rock; also the means of sending supplies and re-enforcements to General Curtis. Reports heretofore received from Memphis are entirely unsatisfactory. Let me know about the supplies and means of transportation from that place.”

I replied, “I have just arrived, tired and dusty, having made the entire distance on horseback.  Will ascertain the facts and answer your telegram of this date as soon as possible.  Col. Fitch dispatches from St. Charles [Ark.], June 21, that considerable bodies of Light troops are collecting in his neighborhood.  Will make inquiries and do what may seem necessary.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 5, p 147-8

National Archives, RG 393, USG Hd. Qrs. Correspondence