Feb 27 1863. I cannot put much trust in reports that Vicksburg is being evacuated. I wrote Gen. Hurlbut,
BEFORE Vicksburg, February 27, 1863.
Major General STEPHEN A. HURLBUT,
Comdg. SIXTEENTH Army Corps:
Your dispatch sent by special messenger is just received. It may be that some of the force is leaving Vicksburg, but I have no evidence of the fact. It is impossible to get information from there. Even deserters who come can tell nothing except of their own regiments, or brigades at furthest.
It will be well to hold the DIVISION previously ordered in readiness to be moved, as in that case, if the report should prove true that the enemy are evacuating Vicksburg, they could readily be sent by steamer to Nashville. I also have a force of about two DIVISIONS to come from Saint Louis, which General Halleck can change the designation of, if he becomes satisfied that they are more needed with Rosecrans than with me. If you have not already done so, telegraph General Halleck the substance of your dispatch to me. It would be well to telegraph General Halleck direct all information you receive affecting the safety of other commands.
U. S. GRANT.
P. S. -It is my desire that the DIVISION to be held in readiness to be brought here should be brought to Memphis without any delay. I presume you so understood me, but I mention it now because I may not have been distinct on this point before.
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 7, 361-2
O.R., I, xxiv, part 3, 71