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ortifications on that river, which were too strong to have been stormed: Grant was making preparations to flank them, when the evacuation occurred. Pursuit was made to Oxford: there was no fighting other than skirmishing; but delays were indispensable, as supplies for the entire army were brought along a single line of railroad, which had to be repaired and reconstructed as the troops advanced. The country roads, too, were in bad condition, and rendered rapid marches impossible. But on the 3d, Grant informed Admiral Porter: Our move has been successful, so far as compelling the evacuation of the Mississippi Central road as far as Grenada. Shortly after, he reported taking twelve hundred prisoners. Grant, however, had already begun to think that the difficulty of supplying his army would be too great to overcome, and on the same day that he wrote to Porter, he asked Halleck, from Abbeville: How far south would you like me to go? Would it not be well to hold the enemy south of t
h, and aware that the impossibility of holding any troops in his own front, might greatly increase Sherman's difficulties, he was yet unable to do any thing to relieve his subordinate. Even after communication with Memphis was reopened, it was long before he heard directly from the river expedition. On the 4th of January, he had news of the assault, but neither official nor definite, and could not learn, for a week afterwards, whether Sherman had fought his way into Vicksburg or not. On the 4th, McPherson was ordered north from the Tallahatchie; but the backward movement was a slow one; the roads were in miserable condition by reason of the winter rains, and, as it had been deter. mined to abandon northern Mississippi, the accumulated quartermasters' and ordnance stores had to be removed with the army. It was not until the 10th of January, that the headquarters were established at Memphis. From there, Grant wrote at once to McClernand that he had heard nothing official from the
rom Helena and Memphis on Vicksburg? With my present force it would not be prudent to go beyond Grenada, and attempt to hold present line of communication. On the 5th, he was at Oxford, twenty-eight miles beyond Holly Springs, with his cavalry at Coffeeville, only eighteen miles from Grenada. This whole advance was made without serious fighting, as the enemy fell back rapidly before any show of pursuit. On the 5th, he again suggested to Halleck: If the Helena troops were at my command, I think it would be practicable to send Sherman to take them and the Memphis forces south of the mouth of Yazoo river, and thus secure Vicksburg and the state of Mississipgrammes, but in each instance, Fortune overruled his arrangements and brought about her own conclusions, apparently resolved to dispose of her own favors. On the 5th of the month, in reply to Grant's suggestions, Halleck directed him not to attempt to hold the country south of the Tallahatchie, but to collect twenty-five thousan
cured by his subordinate. The same peculiarity was also conspicuous in some of his later programmes, but in each instance, Fortune overruled his arrangements and brought about her own conclusions, apparently resolved to dispose of her own favors. On the 5th of the month, in reply to Grant's suggestions, Halleck directed him not to attempt to hold the country south of the Tallahatchie, but to collect twenty-five thousand troops at Memphis, by the 20th, for the Vicksburg expedition. On the 7th, Grant answered that he would send two divisions to Memphis in a few days, and asked: Do you want me to command the expedition to Vicksburg, or shall I send Sherman? To which Halleck replied: You may move your troops as you may deem best to accomplish the great object in view. . . Ask Porter to cooperate. Telegraph what are your present plans. Grant answered at once, on the 8th: General Sherman will command the expedition down the Mississippi. He will have a force of about forty th
ng, and C. S. Hamilton the left, while Sherman moved out from Memphis to attract attention in that direction. Grant's headquarters were with the main body. On the 8th, he informed Sherman that he estimated the rebels at thirty thousand, and felt strong enough to handle that number without gloves; so the demonstration from Memphisps as you may deem best to accomplish the great object in view. . . Ask Porter to cooperate. Telegraph what are your present plans. Grant answered at once, on the 8th: General Sherman will command the expedition down the Mississippi. He will have a force of about forty thousand men, will land at Vicksburg, up the Yazoo ifest, to assume command of all the troops then in Mississippi, belonging to the Department of Arkansas, directed them to report to Sherman, whom he dispatched on the 8th, to Memphis. Porter was informed of the plan, and was requested to cooperate. Sherman was instructed to move with all celerity, and informed, that I will hold the
hereafter? I hope to give you, twenty thousand additional men in a few days. About the same time, he also informed Grant: I hope for an active campaign on the Mississippi, this fall; a large force will ascend the river from New Orleans. On the 9th, Grant telegraphed: Reenforcements are arriving very slowly. If they do not come in more rapidly, I will attack as I am. On the 10th, he got more restive, and inquired: Am I to understand that I lie here still, while an expedition is fitted out ry day that he received the authority, so that, if possible, the latter might start before McClernand could arrive. Halleck, too, sent the permission to Grant to dispatch Sherman, without that deliberation which he sometimes displayed; but on the 9th, he telegraphed: The President may insist upon sending a separate commander. If not, assign such officer as you deem best. Sherman would be my choice as the chief under you. Nothing could be more genuine than the support which in this and near
alleck asked, evidently referring to the river expedition: Had not troops sent to reenforce you better go to Memphis hereafter? I hope to give you, twenty thousand additional men in a few days. About the same time, he also informed Grant: I hope for an active campaign on the Mississippi, this fall; a large force will ascend the river from New Orleans. On the 9th, Grant telegraphed: Reenforcements are arriving very slowly. If they do not come in more rapidly, I will attack as I am. On the 10th, he got more restive, and inquired: Am I to understand that I lie here still, 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 subject to my orders, or is he and his force reserved for some special service? Halleck replied promptly: You have command of all troops sent to your department, and have permission to fight the enemy when you please. This was on the 12th, and on the 13th, Grant's cavalry entered Holly Springs,
oyed in the capture of Arkansas Post, a strong work on the Arkansas, fifty miles from its mouth. The object was to occupy the troops, and raise their spirits, depressed by the recent failure, and also to secure the line of communication by the Mississippi against attacks from the Arkansas side. McClernand immediately acquiesced in Sherman's proposition, and moved his force up the Arkansas, the fleet under Porter accompanying. A naval bombardment, lasting several days, occurred; and on the 11th, the troops assaulted the works, when the post surrendered, after a fight of three hours, in which the squadron bore a conspicuous part. Five thousand prisoners and seventeen pieces of cannon fell into the hands of the victors; McClernand lost about a thousand men, in killed, wounded, and missing. The guns of the fort were silenced by the fleet, and Admiral Porter received the sword of its commander, but the troops were surrendered to the army. This operation was planned and executed wit
not come in more rapidly, I will attack as I am. On the 10th, he got more restive, and inquired: Am I to understand that I lie here still, 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 subject to my orders, or is he and his force reserved for some special service? Halleck replied promptly: You have command of all troops sent to your department, and have permission to fight the enemy when you please. This was on the 12th, and on the 13th, Grant's cavalry entered Holly Springs, driving the enemy south of the Tallahatchie. On the 14th, he informed Sherman: I have now complete control of my department, and accordingly ordered him to move with two divisions of twelve full regiments each, and, if possible, with three divisions, to Oxford, or the Tallahatchie, as soon as possible. 1 am now ready to move from here (La Grange), any day, and only await your movements. Sherman was to notify Grant when he could marc
rapidly, I will attack as I am. On the 10th, he got more restive, and inquired: Am I to understand that I lie here still, 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 subject to my orders, or is he and his force reserved for some special service? Halleck replied promptly: You have command of all troops sent to your department, and have permission to fight the enemy when you please. This was on the 12th, and on the 13th, Grant's cavalry entered Holly Springs, driving the enemy south of the Tallahatchie. On the 14th, he informed Sherman: I have now complete control of my department, and accordingly ordered him to move with two divisions of twelve full regiments each, and, if possible, with three divisions, to Oxford, or the Tallahatchie, as soon as possible. 1 am now ready to move from here (La Grange), any day, and only await your movements. Sherman was to notify Grant when he could march, and to which o
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