Saturday, September, 26, 1863

Camp on the Big Black River, Near Vicksburg, Mississippi

I received orders from General Grant:

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE, Vicksburg, Miss., September 26, 1863.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN, 
Comdg. 15th A. C., Black River:

GENERAL: Dispatches from General Halleck, of date the 13th instant, show that the forces from here are to move via Corinth and Tuscumbia to co-operate with Rosecrans. You will therefore hold two of the remaining divisions of your corps in readiness to move to this place for embarkation to Memphis on receipt of notice that transportation is provided. You will go in command. The division you leave will report to General McPherson in place of Smith’s division of his corps, which will accompany you.
You will take no cavalry.

By order of Major General U. S. Grant:
JNumbers A. RAWLINS, Brigadier-General and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General

Grant tells me that there are boats enough for one division now. The difficulty is finding fuel. I telegraphed Grant to find out when I should start:

SHERMAN’S HEADQUARTERS, September 26, 1863
General GRANT:

My aide, Captain McCoy, just arrived, says there are eleven boats at Vicksburg and more close at hand. When do you want my two divisions to march in for embarkation? I understand they are not to march until I am notified from your headquarters. I am embarrassed to embark those two divisions and at the same time to send out the expedition to the northeast, which should be done, and if the steam-boats are there we ought to be in motion.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

There is the matter of a planned movement to clear out the enemy in North Western Mississippi. I have requested more information from Headquarters.

SEPTEMBER 26, 1863.
General RAWLINS, Assistant Adjutant-General:

I expect General McPherson out this morning. Shall I turn over to him the division of infantry and five regiments of cavalry, and let him give directions as to the position they shall take up, confining my attention to the movement contemplated-of my two divisions preparing for embarkation to Memphis.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

After discussion of the situation with Grant, we agreed that the enemy cavalry is too strong to send only a cavalry force. Infantry must do the job. Grant has approved the operation. I will organize it, the turn it over to McPherson.

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