Tuesday, February 2, 1864

We start tomorrow for Meridian. Tuttle was late in arriving. I will take McPherson’s reserve instead and leave Tuttle to guard the Big Black. Tuttle reports that AJ Smith’s cavalry has not arrived to reinforce Sooy Smith. Our cavalry is not competent and are unreliable.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE

Vicksburg, February 2, 1864

COMMANDING OFFICER,
Columbus, Ky.:

SIR: General Tuttle has just arrived, and tells me that it is rumored in Memphis that the cavalry of General A. J. Smith’s command, which should have reached Memphis or the railroad weeks ago, had returned to Union city, unable to pass the Obion. I hope, for the sake of common decency, this is not true. If, knowing that the movements of the armies at Chattanooga, at Mobile, and Vicksburg depended on a simultaneous movement of cavalry, the officer commanding that cavalry has turned back from any cause, he should be double-ironed and put under guard. Death would be a mild punishment for him. If, however, it be so, order the command under the next officer, or any officer, to start again without wagons and execute their order if only one man gets through.

It is a disgrace to the cavalry arm of the service that they cannot cross a creek. Let them keep more to the eastward, about Paris, and come along down by Purdy, and crossing Hatchie anywhere from Pocahontas to Bolivar. Of course, the use of that cavalry is lost to us in this movement, and now they shall keep out and learn the country and how to cross a creek, and to travel without wagons a distance of 100 or 200 miles. If the officers of the cavalry cannot bring it through, detail some good volunteer to do it.

I am, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

These are my orders for Tuttle:


HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE

Vicksburg, February 2, 1864

Brigadier General J. M. TUTTLE,
Commanding Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, Vicksburg:

DEAR GENERAL: The delay in your arrival compelled me to call on General McPherson for his reserve brigade, in order to complete the force deemed requisite to accomplish our present purpose. You will therefore be left in the neighborhood of Vicksburg with your two brigades, and will assemble them at the railroad bridge on Big Black. Keep that bridge safe for the passage of troops and teams, and guard that approach. I wish you to keep on hand about thirty or forty wagon load of bread and salt, ready to push them out to us in case of need. Keep the railroad in good order, and have your command so well in hand that they can move at a minute’s notice. You know that I am going 150 miles straight into the enemy’s country, and what we do must be done quickly and well. Should the enemy in my absence threaten Vicksburg, your command will, of course, take part in its defense, when you will receive orders from General McArthur, who is in command of Vicksburg and its surroundings. I propose to cut loose from all my base on leaving Big Black, but will try to get a messenger in to you occasionally.

Yours, truly,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

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