Sherman: “General Johnston evacuated Jackson last night”

July 17 1863.  Gen. Sherman has taken Jackson.  Johnston was able to withdraw his forces, but the town is ours.  I received the following telegram from Gen. Sherman,

Army before Jackson, July 17, 1863—6 a. m.

General Johnston evacuated Jackson last night. I will occupy it with one DIVISION of Steele, and hasten the enemy on his way east, but, in the mean time, the weather is too hot for a vigorous pursuit. Railroad north and south is being absolutely annihilated.




I responded,

Vicksburg, MISS., July 17, 1863.

General SHERMAN:

Don’t destroy any cars at Jackson nor the road east near Jackson whilst you occupy the place. Destroy it far off to the east if you can. If Johnston is pursued, would it not have the effect to make him abandon much of his train, and many of his men to desert? I do not favor marching our men much, but if the cavalry can do anything they might do it. I leave this to your judgment, with the superior opportunities you have of knowing what should be done.



The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 64-5

O.R., I, xxiv, part 2, p 528

O.R., I, xxiv, part 3, p 522