Monday, January 18, 1864

Gun Boat Silver Cloud from Vicksburg to Memphis

I am returning to Memphis. I have asked the Navy to patrol up the Yazoo to threaten any enemy that might venture into that area while we are on the march.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE, 
Gun-boat Silver Cloud, January 18, 1864
Captain E. K. OWEN, Commanding Division of the Mississippi Squadron, Skipwith’s Landing:

DEAR CAPTAIN:
I have instructed General McPherson to occupy Haynes’ Bluff in some force, and to send a couple of regiments in transports up the Yazoo to reconnoiter and threaten the enemy, who may be anywhere between the main land east of Yazoo and the Mississippi River.

I would obliged if you send a light-draught to Vicksburg within the next five days, to report to General McPherson, to cover the move I have named. I am certain that the Mississippi can be more safety guarded from the east by an occasional trip up the Yazoo, if possible as far as Greenwood.

I am en route for Memphis and will soon return, and will attempt a movement that will, I trust, have a permanent effect on the movements of the enemy, and especially so far as heavy masses with artillery are concerned.

I am, with great respect, yours truly,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding Department

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