Wednesday, October 28, 1863

Iuka, Mississippi

I am trying to push on to Chattanooga as quickly as possible.  General Grant has ordered me to turn over repair of the railroad from Nashville to General Dodge and suspend work on the railroad from Memphis.  The Tennessee River is now high and I prefer to get my supplies from boats on the River.  The supplies are less likely to be interrupted.

I have sent the following orders:

IUKA, October 28, 1863

General G. M. DODGE, Corinth:

I will probably go to-morrow leaving Fuller here,a nd the divisions at Cherokee and Dickson’s will move down to Chickasaw and cross there. Captain Phelps has gone down the Tennessee to hurry up the boats that should have been up some days since.

W. T. SHERMAN,  Major-General

IUKA, October 28, 1863

J. B. BINGHAM, Memphis:

Bulletin can publish articles of editorial,or when contributed, signed by the writer, favorable or unfavorable to the general policy of the Government, if in proper spirit and designed to do good. Also questions calculated to interest the people of West Tennessee and Arkansas may be discussed pretty freely, but the paper must be held responsible for the truth of every statement of facts, and that the article is calculated to do good and not excite resentment. Try and stop this universal spirit of fault-finding and personality that has brought the press down beneath the contempt of every decent man. Encourage business advertisements, improvements in the arts, narrations of events abroad in the past or, when well authenticated, of the present. In other words, let the Government and its agents do their business in their own way.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

I wrote the following letter to my wife, Ellen:


HEADQUARTERS. Iuka Mississippi  October 28, 1863

Dearest Ellen,

I have all your letters up to Oct. 21, and have signed the Power of Attorney & now enclose it.  I again reiterate that we did on earth all we could for Poor Willy and he knew how we loved him.  Now that he is past all pain & sorrow his Memory must be a strange link in the chain of family love that binds us all together.  I myself did not realize the hopes & pride I had in him till made manifest by his loss.

I have been delayed here longer than I supposed, but my orders were to repair Railroad as I came, and not approach the Flank of Rosecrans without the means of supply, the roads to his Rear being far overtaxed already.  I sent Blair forward to Tuscumbia with Osterhaus & Morgan L. Smiths Division to clear out the cavalry that Swarmed to our front.  I have sent Hugh’s Division to Florence to cross the River at Eastport where there are two Gunboats.  I expect henceforth to draw my supplies from the Tennessee River which is now in better boating order than any of the western Rivers.

I now command the Department. and Army of the Tennessee, embracing the Corps 15, 16 & 17, Sherman, Hurlbut and McPherson.  As I push east, I will devolve on Corps Commanders large powers made necessary by my being difficult of access.  I take to Athens with me my Old Corps 15, and about 8000 of Hurlbut’s command, leaving McPherson at Vicksburg and Hurlbut at Memphis.  I will establish at Florence a kind of Depot.  Address your letters “via Cairo,” and I will order our mails to come up the Tennessee River.  The Tennessee River is now up and if Bragg wished he could not come across.  Whether Grant will assume the offensive I know not & cannot tell till I get within reach.

Weather is now beautiful. We have had some rain, giving us elegant water, and the roads have dried up so that everything is favorable to us.  The enemy’s cavalry hangs round me and I have not the Cavalry to push them back.  I fulfill our great purpose of clearing Rosecran’s flanks & rear.

The Change in the Commands is radical. I don’t pretend to understand all the secrets of Rosecrans’ position.  I know that He & Grant had sharp words & feelings over at Corinth & hear a year ago, and that Grant does not like him.  Besides, Rosecrans has all along had a set of flunkeys about him, pouring out the oil of flattery that was sickening to all true men.  In my judgment, there is no surer index of weakness & meanness than the Common disposition to exaggerate little Skirmishes into Grand Battles.  I have ordered the Press in Memphis to dry up, & never again publish Such stuff as followed the Colliersville matter.  The way to stop the Missouri Imbroglio is to suppress the Missouri Republican Democrat.  Take them away and Peace, quiet & order would reign there.  I have a notion to make the newspapers in Memphis publish every Sunday the Chapters in Pickwick giving the History of the Great Election & newspaper controversy of “Eatanswill.”

I have heretofore written and now repeat that I left “Sam” at Memphis with Captain Lewis to be sent to Lancaster for you.  I am told he was about being sent up in the Lady Jackson to Cincinnati. Captain Lewis understands the business and you will surely receive the horse and will have a Bill of about $25 to pay.  Of course you will see that he is taken good care of.  I have also sent you a list of the killed & wounded of Regulars at Colliersville, and by express my three (3) letter Books which contain all my official letters at Memphis and during the Vicksburg Campaign.  These are now complete, and I now enter on a new series.

Capt. Pitzman is here on a visit quite recovered of his wound, but is a candidate for Surveyor of St. Louis County.  I of course approve his being a candidate and he is here to get the vote of the Missouri Regiments.  Sawyer is here also on a visit, but returns to Illinois.  His father wants to come to serve as a volunteer aid for the winter.

Hammond is still about at Vicksburg and Sawyer goes with me.  I must leave with the Corps the Corps Staff, but we will be together all the time.  I will keep the Regulars near me.  They are in fine order and the Band ditto.  The latter has lost one musician and several of their instruments were taken out of the cars.

I have just heard from Blair at Tuscumbia and I shall move in person to Florence as soon as I have concluded certain other preliminary arrangements.  I am very glad to Know that Tom & Minnie are doing so well.  I fear little they will have the wonted health.

Give all my love and believe me ever yours,

W. T. Sherman

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