“Such persons as are known to be in the Southern Army … their cotton may be taken … and sent here to be sold for the benefit of the Government”

Nov 18 1862.  I received a report from Gen. Quimby in Moscow, TN of a large trade by the people there in cotton.

MOSCOW, November 18, 1862-4 p. m.

Major-General GRANT:

The Second Brigade of my division reached here just at dark last night. The First brigade camped 5 miles back and came in at 7 o’clock this morning. I have occupied the day so far in examining my surroundings, establishing pickets, &c. There is a large amount of railroad property here, consisting of wheels and exiles, together and detached, locomotive tires, &c.

The people are taking cotton in large quantities to Memphis and bringing back all sorts of commodities, contraband and otherwise. I have stopped it until further orders.

Have ordered all roads running south from Memphis and Charleston, except that from here, obstructed; all teams coming from Charleston to report here, and teams taking cotton turned back.

There is some cotton about here unpacked, but a large amount picked and ginned and unpinned. I have directed it to be kept until I receive your orders about it.

I. F. QUINBY,

Brigadier-General.

I replied,

Brigadier General I. F. QUINBY, Davis’ Mill, Miss.:

You may permit all persons living at home to save their cotton and bring it in for sale. Such persons as are known to be in the Southern Army, or have contributed, directly and voluntarily, to the support of the rebellion, their cotton may be taken, if they have any, and sent here to be sold for the benefit of the Government. Persons who prefer taking their cotton to Memphis may be permitted to do so. Persons whose negroes have run off and have cotton yet to pick will be allowed to hire the negroes in charge of Government here.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 6, p 331-2

O.R., I, xvii, part 2, p 353-4

“So far as possible, subsist them and your army on the rebel inhabitants of Mississippi.”

Nov 16 1862.  I received a reply from Gen. Halleck,

Washington, November 16, 1862.

Major-General GRANT, La Grange, Tenn.:

The Secretary of War directs that you employ the refugee negroes as teamsters, laborers, &c., so far as you have use for them,in the quartermaster’s department on forts, railroads, &c.; also in picking and removing cotton, on account of the Government. So far as possible, subsist them and your army on the rebel inhabitants of Mississippi.

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 6, p 315

O.R., I, xvii, part 1, p 470-1

“Citizens south of us are leaving their homes, and negroes coming in by wagon loads. What will I do with them?”

Nov 15 1862.  We are seeing an increase in the number of fugitive slaves entering our lines.  They are without the means of caring for themselves.  Yesterday I issued Special Field Orders No. 4,

SPECIAL
HDQRS. THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS, FIELD ORDERS,
DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE, Numbers 4.
La Grange, Tenn., November 14, 1862.

I. Chaplain J. Eaton, Jr., of the Twenty-seventh Regiment Ohio Infantry Volunteers, is hereby appointed to take charge of all fugitive slaves that are now or may from time to time come within the military lines of the advancing army in this vicinity, not employed and registered in accordance with General Orders, Numbers 72, from headquarters District of West Tennessee, and will open a camp for them at Grand Junction, where they will be suitably cared for and organized into companies and set to work, picking, ginning, and baling all cotton now outstanding in fields.

II. Commanding officers of troops will send all fugitive that come within the lines, together with such teams, cooking utensils, and other baggage as they may bring with them, to Chaplain Eaton, Jr., at Grand Junction.

III. One regiment of infantry from Brigadier-General McArthur’s division will be temporarily detailed as guard in charge of such contrabands, and the surgeons of said regiment will be charged with the care of the sick.

IV. Commissaries of subsistence will issue on the requisitions of Chaplain Eaton, Jr., omitting the coffee rations, and substituting rye.

By order of Major General U. S. Grant:

John A. RAWLINS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

 

Today I sent a telegram to Gen. Halleck asking for further instructions,

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

LA GRANGE, November 15, 1862.

Citizens south of us are leaving their homes, and negroes coming in by wagon loads. What will I do with them? I am now having all the cotton still standing out picked by them.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 6, p 315-6

O.R., I, xvii, part 1, p 470

O.R., I, lii, part 1, p 301-2

To Gen. Sherman: “I think it advisable to move on the enemy as soon as you can leave Memphis”

Nov 15 1862.  I sent the following telegram to Gen. Sherman,

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
La Grange, Tenn., November 14, 1862.

Major General WILLIAM T. SHERMAN, Memphis, Tenn.:

After writing to you by Colonel Grierson I received a dispatch from General Halleck stating that in addition to troops already ordered to this department some from Ohio and Kentucky were also ordered, all to be collected at Memphis, from which place a combined military and naval expedition would move on Vicksburg. This, taken in connection with the mysterious rumors of McClernand’s command, left me in doubt as to what I should do. I therefore telegraphed Halleck to know if that movement was to be made independent of mine here – if I was to lie still where I am or to penetrate as far south as possible with the means at hand; he replied that all troops sent into the department would be under my control – fight the enemy my own way.*

From information brought in by spies sent from Corinth by General Rosecrans before he left there, the enemy are expecting re-enforcements from Bragg’s army and also from Virginia. Have also been re-enforced by Holmes and Hindman. This latter I do not credit.

I think it advisable to move on the enemy as soon as you can leave Memphis with two full divisions of twelve regiments of infantry each and the proper proportion of other arms. If troops should come sufficiently rapidly to enable you to bring three divisions it would be more advisable. The country through which you would pass would no doubt afford supplies of forage. I will have provisions here to furnish you on arrival; also ordnance stores. Not less than 300 rounds per man should be brought from Memphis, however.

Our reconnaissances have driven the enemy to beyond the Tallahatchie. Yesterday our cavalry went 6 or 7 miles beyond Holly Springs, where they met five regiments of rebel cavalry and infantry and a battery. Colonel Lee, of the Seventh Kansas Cavalry, one of the best cavalry officers I ever saw, drove them back, capturing, killing, and wounding a large number. He has now taken since we have been here some 250 prisoners, killed perhaps 50, and wounded a large number, with a loss on his side of only 3 men wounded.

I am ready to move from here any day and only await your movements. You can inform me by messenger what day you will start, with what force and by what route, and I will make my calculations accordingly.

The route you should take will depend upon the force you can bring with you, the number of days’ supplies you can transport, and whether the enemy is materially re-enforced.

If you can move with three divisions and so as to reach Oxford with three days’ supplies, I would say go there; but I am not advised whether the new regiments joining you are supplied with transportation. I presume they are not. I will have here from 500 to 600 wagons for a supply and ordnance train, and the road in running order to beyond Holly Springs, probably to the Tallahatchie.

If you cannot move to Oxford, and I don’t expect it, the next best place would be to move to Tallahatchie, or water some place 6 miles west or southwest from Holly Springs. I would then move to Holly Springs, so as to reach there at the same time. All future plans could be arranged after our arrival at these position.

I have asked to have three locomotives purchased and sent to Memphis, with the view of having the Grenada and Memphis road used.

I have ordered Lauman and will send Hurlbut to report to you in a few days.

Let me hear from you by special messenger as soon as possible. Any suggestions you may have to make will be gladly received and duly considered.

I am exceedingly anxious to do something before the roads get bad and before the enemy can intrench and re-enforce.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 6, p 310-12

O.R., I, xvii, part 2, p 347-8

“Colonel Lee, with cavalry, entered Holly Springs this morning”

Nov 13 1862.  I sent a telegram to Gen. Halleck informing him of the capture of Holly Springs,

LA GRANGE, TENN.,

November 13, 1862. – 2.15 p.m.

Colonel Lee, with cavalry, entered Holly Springs this morning, driving the enemy’s pickets from there and far beyond. He has taken about 100 prisoners and killed and wounded many. Lee still in pursuit. The enemy are now south of the Tallahatchie. I do not deem it advisable to move from present position until prepared to follow up any success. Twelve additional locomotives are required to supply the army; three at Memphis. Will you direct them ordered? Can I not have an ordnance officer from Saint Louis ordered to Memphis?

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 6, p 304-5

O.R., I, xvii, part 1, p 470

“Two commanders on the same field are always one too many”

“At this stage of the campaign against Vicksburg I was very much disturbed by newspaper rumors that General McClernand was to have a separate and independent command within mine, to operate against Vicksburg by way of the Mississippi River. Two commanders on the same field are always one too many, and in this case I did not think the general selected had either the experience or the qualifications to fit him for so important a position. I feared for the safety of the troops intrusted to him, especially as he was to raise new levies, raw troops, to execute so important a trust. But on the 12th I received a dispatch from General Halleck saying that I had command of all the troops sent to my department and authorizing me to fight the enemy where I pleased.”

Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S Grant, Chpt XXX, p 285-6

Gen. Davies: “The expedition commanded by Brigadier-General Ransom has proved a great success”

Nov 11 1862.  I received a report from Gen. Davies at Columbus about a battle with some Rebels near Garrettsburg Ky.  I passed it along to Gen. Halleck.

LA GRANGE, TENN., November 11, 1862-9.20 p. m.

Major-General H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief:

 

The following dispatch just received from General Davies, at Columbus:

 

The expedition commanded by Brigadier-General Ransom has proved a great success. It came up with Colonel Woodward’s rebel force, 800 strong, near Garrettsburg; had a short engagement ; killed 16 of his men, among them 1 captain and a lieutenant; wounded 40, including 1 captain and 2 lieutenants; took 25 prisoners, all their horses and 50 mules, and a large number of arms and equipments, half the camps of Colonel Woodward’s men, including his own, routing the whole concern, and driving them out the State of Kentucky. Our loss, 3 killed and 7 wounded.

 

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 6, p 296-7

O.R., I, xx, part 1, p 9

“Am I to understand that I lie still here while an expedition is fitted out from Memphis?”

Nov 10 1862.  I received a disturbing telegram from Gen. Hamilton.

HEADQUARTERS LEFT WING,
November 9, 1862 – 12 m.

[General GRANT:]

 

A letter from Wisconsin to-day advises me that the Wisconsin regiments in the State, as also those of Pope’s command, are ordered to McClernand. Is that so? If I am unable to ride I will come over this p. m.

 

Yours, respectfully,

C. S. HAMILTON,

Brigadier-General.

I sent a telegram to Gen. Halleck asking for clarification, as it was my understanding that all newly recruited troops entering the department would report to me.

HEADQUARTERS,
La Grange, Tenn., November 10, 1862. – 7.45 p.m.

 

Am I to understand that I lie still here while an expedition is fitted out from Memphis, or do you want me to push as far south as possible? Am I to have Sherman move subject to my order, or is he and his forces reserved for some special service? Will not more forces be sent here?

 

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 6, p 286, 288

O.R., I, xvii, Part 1, 469

O.R., I, xvii, Part 2, 330

“Two divisions and 1,200 cavalry are now out on reconnaissance toward Holly Springs.”

Nov 9 1862  I sent two telegrams to Gen. Halleck in Washington.  One was to inform him of our progress towards Vicksburg.  The other was to ask him when we could expect reinforcements to arrive in Memphis.

Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief.

LA GRANGE, TENN., November 9, 1862.

 

Two divisions and 1,200 cavalry are now out on reconnaissance toward Holly Springs. The cavalry, under Colonel Lee (Seventh Kansas), had two skirmishes yesterday in which they took 102 prisoners and killed 17 that they know of. Our reported loss 2 wounded. Rebels commenced evacuating Holly Springs last Thursday, but Pemberton came up and turned them back. This army should be supplied with 15,000 muskets and accouterments, complete, of uniform pattern,delivered at Jackson, to supply recruits and replace arms requiring repairs. This number would enable us, by making some changes, to have more uniformity of caliber in the different regiments. May I expect forces from New Orleans and Helena to co-operate?

 

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General

 

 

General H. W. HALLECK, Washington, D. C.

LA GRANGE, TENN., November 9, 1862-7.50 p.m.

 

Re-enforcements are arriving very slowly. If they do not come on more rapidly I will attack as I am. But one regiment has yet reached Memphis.

 

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 6, p 278-9

O.R., I, xvii, part 1, p 468

“Your dispatch is received. Well done so far. I hope it will turn out as well throughout.”

Nov 8 1862.  I have received two reports from Gen. McPherson as he neared Lamar, Miss.

IN THE FIELD, 5 1/2 MILES FROM LA GRANGE,

November 8, 1862 – 11.45 a. m.

Major-General GRANT:

 

My column is all united at this point, where the road from Grand Junction comes in.

 

The cavalry under Colonel Lee have just arrived, and have gone on in advance. I have established a courier post 4 1/2 miles from La Grange, at the forks of the road. General Quinby’s division will not be up for two or three hours. I shall, however, push on cautiously to Lamar or vicinity.

Would it not be well to keep a strong lookout on the Moscow road?

 

Some few of the rebel pickets have been seen.

 

 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAS. B. MCPHERSON,

Major-General.

 

LAMAR, November 8, 1862 – 3 p. m.

Major-General GRANT:

 

Have just reached this point. The advance under Colonel Lee had some pretty sharp skirmishing with rebel cavalry a short distance beyond here. I shall halt my column here until General Quinby comes up, unless I hear something definite from the front.

 

JAS. B. MCPHERSON,

Major-General.

I replied,

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
La Grange, November 8, 1862.

Major-General MCPHERSON,

Commanding Reconnaissance:

 

GENERAL: Your dispatch is received. Well done so far. I hope it will turn out as well throughout. My hope rather favors [their] remaining at Holly Springs. The opportunity of attacking there is better than it would be with the Tallahatchie between. The only particular advantage I can see for us having the rebels abandon Holly Springs is that we would then cover Corinth somewhat better. I will hold two divisions in readiness to-morrow should you require re-enforcements. Take no risks for a general engagement; we are not ready for that. Send in your prisoners in the morning under a proper escort.

 

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 6, p 276-7

O.R., I, xvii, part 2, p 328