Field Dispatches





No.54. In Field near Corinth, Miss., June 11, 1862

Col. T. L. Dickey, Fourth Illinois Cavalry, is hereby assigned to the command of a cavalry brigade, which brigade will be composed of the Fourth Illinois Cavalry Volunteers, Fifth Ohio Cavalry Volunteers, one squadron Second Illinois Cavalry Volunteers, one squadron Thiele­mann Independent Cavalry, Eleventh Illinois Cavalry Volunteers, Cur­tis' Horse, First Nebraska Cavalry Volunteers, Stewart's Independent Cavalry Volunteers, Carmichael's Independent Cavalry Volunteers, O'Harnett's Independent Cavalry Volunteers, and Dollin's Independent Cavalry Volunteers, being the entire cavalry force of the army corps of the Tennessee and District of West Tennessee, except the First Ohio Cavalry, belonging to Major-General Thomas' division. He will imme­diately assign one company of cavalry to each of the division commanders as an escort. Company A, Fourth Illinois Cavalry, will remain on detached service at these headquarters. All reports and returns re­quired by existing order, and requisitions for supplies will be made through him.

By command of Maj. Gen. U.S. Grant:


Assistant Adjutant General



June 15, 1862.

Brigadier General Denver,

Commanding Third Brigade:

Sir: You will march with your command early to-morrow morning on the State Line road to Moscow, examine into the state of damages on the Memphis and Charleston road where it crosses the valley of Wolf River, and do all things possible to restore it to a running condition as soon as possible, to which end you are authorized to call upon planters in the neighborhood for Negroes, oxen, wagons, or whatever is necessary to a speedy restoration of the road.

Two companies of Dickey's Cavalry will be ordered to report to you this evening for orders.

By order of Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman:


Assistant Adjutant General




Memphis, Tenn., June 24, 1862

I. For the guidance and control of this city the following orders are published:

Col. J. P Webster, chief of artillery and chief of staff, is appointed commander of the post. All needful rules and regulations for the gov­ernment of the city will be made by him, subject to the approval of the general commanding.

Col. William S. Hillyer, aide-de-camp, is appointed provost-marshal-general for the district. All local provosts will report to him weekly and will receive instructions from him.

Lient. Col. D.C. Anthony is appointed provost marshal for the city of Memphis. He will report to the provost-marshal-general for instructions and assume his duties without delay.

II. The Thirty-fourth, Forty-third, and Forty-seventh Regiments Indiana Volunteers, Col. J. It. Slack commanding, will form the garrison of Memphis and will encamp east of the town.

Company A, Fourth Illinois Cavalry, Captain Osband commanding, is specially assigned to assist the provost marshal in the performance of his duties.

All the troops in Memphis not enumerated above will immediately go into camp outside of the city on the line of the railroad to Grenada, Miss. They will also picket all the roads leading to the city from the southeast quarters and enforce such orders as have been or may here­after be published.

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X. The corps heretofore known as the Reserve Corps of the Army of the Tennessee is hereby dissolved.

Maj. Gen. J. A. McClernand will have immediate command of all troops occupying the country south of Union City and north of the Memphis and Charleston road and on the line of the railroads. He will make all needful rules for the protection of the different lines of road and for the preservation of order within the district commanded by him.

Tri-monthly returns will be required as heretofore. The Third Division will drop from their reports the command at Bolivar, and it will be taken up by General McClernand.

By order of Maj. Gen. U.S. Grant:


Assistant Adjutant-General.





La Payette, June 25,1862.

The division will move to-morrow morning to Moscow. General Morgan L. Smith's brigade, in advance, will start as early as possible, to allow the whole division to reach Moscow before the intense heat of tile day. He will proceed through Moscow to a point about 1+ mile beyond, and select good ground facing south and near enough Wolf River to obtain from it a supply of water.

General Denver will follow General Smith and select his camp out-side of Moscow and near enough the Wolf River to obtain water from it

Colonel McDowell's brigade will bring up the rear and occupy the town of Moscow.

The chief of artillery will distribute the batteries as heretofore.

The division train and all wagons not needed by the regiments can cross the Wolf River here and proceed to Moscow by a road lying on the north side of that stream. The Fourth Illinois Cavalry will bring up the rear of and guard that train.

By order of Major Gen. W. T. Sherman:


Assistant Adjutant-General




July 7, 1862


By order of General Halleck I am back at Moscow. The line of Cold-water is the proper line from which to protect this road, but I should have some cavalry. The Fourth Illinois is now a mere squad, and it is worse than toothache to call upon them for hard work. My wagon train again started for Memphis this morning under escort of the regi­ment that protected it before. I don't think the train will be molested going to Memphis, but coming back it may be different. I think it should take the back road. I want McClernand to hold the Junction, Hurlbut, Moscow and La Fayette, and my division to come to German-town and Colliersville.

Who should give the order! I have telegraphed to him my return.


Major General



Memphis, July 7,1862

Major Gen. H. W. HALLECK, Corinth, Miss:

The following is substance of dispatch just received from General Sherman:

Return to Moscow. Think Coldwater the line to hold for protection of the rail­road. Want McClernand to hold Grand Junction; Hurlbut, Moscow and La Fayette, and my (Sherman's) division to move to Germantown and Colliersville.

Shall I make the order for this position!


Major General




Moscow, Tenn

July 8, 1862


Assistant Adjutant-. General-to-General Grant, Memphis:

SIR: My last report of the operations of this and General Hurlbut’s (Fourth) 'divisions was made to Col. J. C. Kelton direct, it being of date June 23, about the time of the change of command from General Thomas to General Grant. My future reports wm of course be addressed to your headquarters.

My original orders from General Halleck direct were to move with mine and Hurlbut's divisions from Chewalla to Grand Junction, and thence repair the Charleston and Memphis road west to Memphis. The first repairs were made on some burned trestles in La Grange; next on two large bridges here at Moscow, and lastly two small ones at and near La Fayette. All these bridges were finished and the road ready for ears on June 25, but the accident to the train out of Memphis has prevented its use. For some reason all trains from Corinth and Columbus stop at La Grange, and, as you know, I have been compelled to haul my stores at great labor and risk from Memphis, lint General Halleck now informs me that supplies can be bad from Columbus, Ky.; I shall not, conse­quently, send any more teams into Memphis, unless in case of accident to the northern road. I have little confidence in railroads running through a country where every house is a nest of secret, bitter enemies.

On the 29th of June I received a dispatch from General Halleck saying that Hamilton's division of Rosecrans' army corps had passed the Hatchie the day before, and would be at Holly Springs on Tuesday a. m.; ordering me to co-operate as far as advisable, but not to neglect the protection of the railroad. I accordingly ordered General Hurlbut to leave at Grand Junction and La Grange each a regiment of infantry and section of artillery, with all the sick and feeble of his command, and with his effective force to march on Holly Springs, so timing his march as to be at Coldwater at 8 a. m. Tuesday. I made similar dispositions, leaving a regiment and a section of artillery at La Fayette and Moscow, with all the sick and feeble and with the remainder, about 4,000 men, marched for Holly Springs:

I met Hurlbut's division at Hudsonville, and we moved forward to Coldwater, the first and only point where water can be had between the Wolf River and Holly Springs.

Our cavalry found the enemy's pickets at Hudsonville, drove them across Coldwater, and back toward Holly Springs. About 2+ miles out of Holly Springs the advance guard was drawn into an ambush, was fired on, lost 1 man killed and 3 wounded, all of the Fourth Illinois Cavalry. This cavalry, about 150 men, under command of Major Gibson, was dismounted and drove the enemy out of the woods, killing 1 and wounding others. The enemy's cavalry, three battalions, in all about 1,200 men, under Colonels Jackson and Pinson, formed in front of Holly Springs.

General Denver; commanding the advance brigade, moved forward Captain Mueller's battery, which by about 18 rounds dispersed the cavalry, which retreated through and beyond the town. General Denver moved to the edge of town and sent pickets through. There was no enemy at Holly Springs but these two regiments of cavalry, about 1,500 strong. These kept away whenever I sent troops into town, but returned in small squads whenever I withdrew the command. I made my chief camp in Coldwater on account of water, which there was abundant, whilst at Holly Springs it is scarce. I sent a brigade daily to picket to Holly Springs. As soon as I reached Coldwater I endeavored to open communication with General Hamilton, supposed to be advancing on the flank in the direction of Ripley. One messenger sent afoot in disguise has never returned; two others mounted followed General Hamilton to Rienzi, and on the 5th of July I received a letter from General Hamil­ton saying he was on his return to Corinth, having been within 19 miles of Holly Springs. For several days I could get no dispatches or com­munication from any quarter; but on the 6th I received General Halleck’s order by telegraph, of July 1, ordering me not to attempt to hold Holly Springs, but to fall back and protect the railroad. I accordingly ordered General Hurlbut to resume his post at La Grange, and I have come here. Each point is equidistant from Holly Springs, say, 25 miles. Each is on the railroad at vital points, and we are within 10 miles of each other. I think we protect the railroad from Junction to La Fay­ette, but not beyond. Hurlbut has about 300 cavalry without carbines and much used up. I had eight companies Fourth Illinois, now down to about 200 men, and they and horses much used up. Our infantry has suffered some in marching in the heat and dust, but I think I have on the line about 10,000 good fighting men.

There is no large force of the enemy nearer than Tallahatchie, 18 miles south of Holly Springs, although I have vague reports of large masses moving toward Memphis, and Hurlbut reports 300 cavalry and 5,000 infantry moving toward Davis' Mill, on Wolf River, not more than 7 miles south of the Junction. Of course they must not be allowed to make a lodgment there; but Hurlbut’s cavalry have already made so many indefinite reports, which on examination proved unfounded, that I mistrust them. I also found the Negroes on our late march and so­journ at Holly Springs full of false and exaggerated rumors. I prefer to be governed by what I think the enemy should attempt. If he has 30,000 men at his disposal he should interpose between Memphis and this command. He can do so perfectly unobserved by an oblique march by way of the Pigeon Roost road or by Hernando, and he could soon repair the railroad to his rear so as to bring forward his supplies; while we; depending on the Columbus road, may be at any moment cut off as any family along or near that road, being in their interest and constant communication kept up, could break that line of road. I would much prefer the concentration of our whole force on Coldwater, near where the Memphis and Holly Springs [road] crosses and leave but small detach­ments along the road itself. Along and on the road our every move­ment is known and reported, while we can hear nothing. I have sent out no cavalry to North Mount Pleasant, a point where several roads meet to the southwest of this. I also picket all bridges and roads near strong with infantry. I don't apprehend attack in this position, but may be drawn out on Halibuts alarm or by what would be the enemy’s best strategic move, the interposition of a superior force between us and Memphis. They will not in my judgment remain idle, especially if they have gained the advantage over McClellan, which they claim, and I doubt if they will move back on Corinth.

The destruction of the railroads there hare destroyed its importance to them as a point, but Memphis, if recovered, would be a magnificent stroke, and in my opinion they will attempt it. I am told that General Curtis is in imminent danger. These interior operations give our enemy great advantages in their knowledge of country and possession of the hearty co-operation of the people.

I will keep my troops as healthy as possible in this warm and dusty weather, and try and fulfill any plan that you or General Halleck may lay down. We should not be idle these moonlight nights, especially if we detect the enemy in motion.

I am, with great respect,


Major. General


Dispatches Page II