Tuesday, June 16, 1863

CAMP, Walnut Hills, June 16, 1863. 8 p. m.

Lieutenant Colonel John A. RAWLINS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Tennessee:

SIR: Last night, in company with Colonel Wilson, I rode up to Snyder’s Bluff, and this morning examined the line of pits and batteries in course of construction. They appear to me well adapted to the end in view, and will enable the two DIVISIONS of Kimball and Smith to hold any force coming from the north and northeast. I examined, in company with Generals Washburn, Kimball, and Smith, also Colonel Wilson, the valley of the Skillet-goliath, and have advised that General Parke dispose his force along that valley, its center near the church at Milldale, left near Snyder’s, and right up toward Templeton, where I have a strong picket. General Parke had not arrived at the hour of my starting back (4 p. M.), but I saw steamboats coming, which I think contained his troops. The accounts of the enemy brought in from the front were very conflicting, and my inference was that Loring is feeling his way cautiously down with cavalry, and a moderate force of infantry, as far as Post Oak Ridge. It seems the cavalry pickets drew in from that point last night, but General Washburn assured me he would replace them to-day. The Fourth Iowa Cavalry have moved, by my orders, to Watson’s, with orders to watch the approaches from Bush’s and Birdsong Ferries. With arrangements now completed, the enemy cannot come down the Valley road or the Ridge road via Snyder’s. If he comes, he must come across the head of Clear Creek, debouching near Marshall’s. That ground cannot well be obstructed, but it is advantageous to us, and could be rendered more so by constructing two or three detached forts: one near Marshall’s, another at the point where the Bridgeport road leaves the Benton road, and another intermediate. If you deem it prudent, I will cause the ground to be more closely examined, and works laid off and begun. As you know, my corps has done much labor, but I will do anything and everything in human power to achieve final success.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN

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