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Series 1 Volume XXX; Part 1

Official Report Number 1

Report of Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, U. S. Army,
with instructions to Col. Edwin F. Winslow.
Camp on Big Black, September 5, 1863.

SIR: Inclosed please find report of Col. E. F. Winslow, Fourth Iowa, of the results of his expedition to Grenada, Memphis, and back to camp.

His movement was skillful and eminently successful. It would have been better that he should have destroyed the locomotives and cars left at Winona, but my instructions to him, based on those of General Grant to me, were to run the cars beyond Grenada and into Memphis. The destruction of the bridges of the Yalabusha at Grenada made that impossible, and then it was too late to bring up the cars from Winona. These can be of little use to the enemy, as they cannot come below Durant, the road being useless thence to Jackson.

I am, &c.,

Major-General, Commanding.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Vicksburg, Miss.

Camp on Black River, August 8, 1863.
Fourth Iowa Cavalry:

SIR: In pursuance of Special Orders, No. 156, of the 6th instant, you will take command of the cavalry forces designated in these orders, and start on the 10th instant for the north.

You will strike for the lower Benton road, and follow it to Mechanicsburg, and thence to Yazoo City. There you will find a gunboat and a supply of provisions, with which you can replenish.

After a short rest, keeping well quiet as to your destination, proceed to Lexington, and thence strike the Great Central Railroad and ascertain if possible if the locomotives and cars belonging to the road are still above Grenada. At our last accounts there were between Grenada and Water Valley an immense number of locomotives (70) and near 500 cars.

If you find any locomotives below Grenada, you will endeavor to have them and all cars sent up to and above Grenada, and you will proceed to that place with your cavalry. General Grant has ordered a force from Memphis to meet you at or near Grenada. Communicate with them as soon as possible, and with your joint force use all possible efforts to get these cars and locomotives into Memphis.

I take it for granted that parties are now employed in repairing the track out from Memphis, and that you will find everything done on that end of the road.

You know that we have so crippled the road from Canton south that no railroad stock can be carried off by the. enemy; and therefore we have no interest in destroying it, and therefore you will confine your labors and efforts to save it, by moving it toward and into Memphis.

You will find plenty of engineers and conductors whom you can employ, or, if necessary, use force to compel them to work their engines and trains.

I am satisfied all of Jackson's cavalry is at or near Brandon, east of the Pearl. If any detachments have been made they are toward Natchez. The Memphis forces will, of course, drive out of that neighborhood all of Chalmers' men and other detachments of guerrillas, more intent on collecting conscripts than on fighting.

No matter which force you meet, attack promptly and resolutely, and so handle your forces that they cannot count your numbers. Do not stay in Grenada, but occupy the bank of the Yalabusha, the other side of Grenada, till you are in connection with the Memphis forces, after which act according to your judgment.

You carry money with you, and it is now to the interest of our Government that all plundering and pillaging should cease. Impress this on your men from the start, and let your chief quartermaster and commissary provide liberally and fairly for the wants of your command by paying.

Union people and the poorer farmers, without being too critical as to politics, should be paid for their corn, bacon, beef, and vegetables, but where the larger planters and farmers have an abundance to spare you can take of the surplus, giving in all such cases a simple receipt, signed by your chief quartermaster and commissary. Also, when your horses break down, you can take a remount, exchanging the broken-down animal and giving a certificate of the transaction, fixing the cash difference in value-the boot.

Deal firmly but fairly with the inhabitants. I am satisfied a change of feeling is now going on in this State, and we should encourage it. Much importance is attached to this branch of the subject, and you will see that every officer and man is informed of it.

Punish on the spot and with rigor any wanton burning of houses or property without your specific orders. If at Grenada you find the Memphis force fully competent to the task of saving the railroad stock enumerated you can return via Yazoo City; but if there be any doubt remain with them and go on into Memphis and return to my command by the river. On your application the quartermaster, Captain Eddy, will furnish boats. Report to me by letter as often as possible, either by the route you go or around by way of Memphis. I inclose you the best map* we are able to compile. Add to it as you progress, and on your return I shall expect it to be filled with roads and names of localities not now on it.

With great respect,

Major-General, Commanding.
* Not Found


Title: The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies.
Series 1Volume XXX; Part 1 - Reports; Page 5 - 7
Chapter:XLII - Operations in Kentucky, Southwest Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, North Alabama, and North Georgia. August 11-October 19, 1863.
Author: United States. War Dept., John Sheldon Moody, Calvin Duvall Cowles, Frederick Caryton Ainsworth, Robert N. Scott, Henry Martyn Lazelle, George Breckenridge Davis, Leslie J. Perry, Joseph William Kirkley
Published: Washington: Government Printing Office
Date: 1890