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[96] which Sherman was finally given command on Grant's insistence. Butler was expected to make a similar expedition up the river from New Orleans, and Curtis was instructed to send troops across the Mississippi against Grenada. The combination was a formidable one, and contemplated the concentration of about 100,000 men for the purpose of capturing Vicksburg, and in fact securing possession of the whole of northern Mississippi.

Pemberton had a very small force to oppose this gigantic combination, and he made urgent calls for reinforcements as early as October, when it became apparent what was on foot.

Grant was at La Grange, Tenn., November 9th, and a cavalry reconnoissance sent on toward Holly Springs discovered that that place had been evacuated. On the 9th General Pemberton had ordered Van Dorn and Price and Lovell back to the south bank of the Tallahatchie, where fortifications were begun. Price was posted between Abbeville and the Tallahatchie bridge, Lovell near the ford at the mouth of the Tippah, and General George with his State troops put on guard at Oxford. Grant brought his army up to Holly Springs about two weeks later, repairing the railroad as he marched, and established his depot of supplies at the point he had now reached.

About the same time Van Dorn's rear was threatened by a Federal expedition from Arkansas, under Gen. A. P. Hovey, consisting of 5,000 infantry and 2,000 cavalry, which landed at Delta and Friar's Point and moved toward Charleston. Pemberton again called for reinforcements, and suggested that Bragg in Tennessee move against Grant's communications, and Holmes send over 10,000 men from Arkansas. Bragg replied that he would order Forrest to make a diversion in West Tennessee, and Holmes positively refused to lend any assistance, on the ground that such a step would lose Arkansas to the Confederacy.

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