Monday, August 3, 1865

HeadQuarters, 15th Army Corp
Camp on Black River, Near Vicksburg, Mississippi, Aug. 3, 1863

Dear General Ord,

Some of our vandals got in the home of Jefferson Davis (on the first march from Jackson to Vicksburg) and took a chest which on Examination contains about 4 bushels of letters & papers of all kinds. I have overhauled a good many and among others have found the real Boomerang letter (the one you wrote long ago to Jefferson Davis expressing sympathy for slavery) in which I know you feel a deep interest. I therefore enclose it to you and beg you will promise not to tell on me that I abstracted papers so valuable. I found a few other papers from Professors Mahan & Bartlett of West Point, which I have also enclosed to them. But the Box would take me a week even to assort much less to read over, so I will screw up the seal and send it to the War Department when they have a department to overhaul assort & dispose of.

Jeff would make a fuss if he could see me reading his cherished correspondence, most of which is stale enough but still enough left to show how matters were shaping in 1860 & 61.

All your Reports have been duly received about the Jackson matter and have been duly forwarded. I will surely help you to advance any officer of your corps that you think should be so advanced. Hurry of Course.

I do not treat this Jackson movement as a separate matter. It was simply a postscript to the Vicksburg affair. Had we quietly entered Vicksburg, the South would have raised the old story of Gun boats &c. afraid to leave the River. But we did leave the River, and we did beat Johnston at his own Game. He can only boast of beating us at a Retreat. Well, Let him have that Glory. You know & I know that it would have been folly for us with our Men in their then condition to have followed him into Alabama, when we know he had run to his rear all his heavy stuff, retaining of course his cavalry and best troops as Rear Guard.

We must not ask any Glory, but we justly claim that we did right in chasing an hostile army away off from the Mississippi. He was about Lauderdale Springs the last I heard. General Jackson came back to Brandon with part of his cavalry, a small detachment came into Jackson and out as far as Clinton, but I have in my hands papers with a long string of names, asking us both to stay away. “The People are tired of the War; they want a Ration, a wagon &c.” the old Seminole story.

You will have a hard time in Natchez. Our Country here is all plundered. You have that to go through yet. I have a magnificent camp, and think it will be healthy.

Yours truly,
W.T. Sherman, Major General

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