I set off last evening in the icy waters, down to Mississippi in the gunboat Juliet. I will go first to Columbus, Kentucky to inspect my command there and then on to Memphis. I reported to General Grant:
Major General U. S. GRANT,
Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi, Chattanooga, Tennessee:
I leave for Columbus and Memphis. General W. S. Smith is supposed to be crossing the Tennessee. I will aim to re-enforce him with cavalry, and with infantry occupy the attention of the enemy, so as to enable him to reach Meridian and, if possible, Selma. The Yazoo and Red Rivers are reported as too low to admit of navigation. There is no interruption to the boats on the Mississippi at this time.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding