Today in History:

1025 Series I Volume XXIV-III Serial 38 - Vicksburg Part III


make it prudent for the enemy to send a portion of his force from this side of the river to hold them in check, and consequently to relieve our army here to that extent.

In view of these circumstances, it is proposed that the SECOND Missouri, SECOND Arkansas, and First Tennessee Regiments of Cavalry and Willis' battalion Texas Cavalry, having an effective strength of about 800 men, shall be allowed to cross the Mississippi, with orders to arrest all deserters and stragglers from other commands, and authority to recruit own ranks by conscription or otherwise, and that, when a sufficient number of men has been obtained, they should be authorized to make a raid into Missouri and Illinois, and return through Kentucky and Tennessee, unless it should be thought best that they should return directly across the Mississippi. This would leave Colonel W. C. Falkner's regiment and Major [A. H.] Chalmers' battalion Partisan Rangers, with all the State troops, to operate in this military district. They, with the command of Colonel [R. V.] Richardson and others in WEST Tennessee, will be sufficient to repel all small parties of the enemy and to give notice of the advance of any considerable force, which is all that I am able to do with my present command.

These views, so far as they relate to the beneficial results to be derived form increasing our army in the Trans-Mississippi Department, and to the probability that the Missouri and Arkansas regiments would be able to enlist many recruits if allowed to go to the other side of the river, have my approval, and are recommended to the favorable consideration of the general commanding. If he should approve of them, I would respectfully ask that he will allow me to take command of the troops who cross the river, and also that the detached companies from the Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas regiments, viz, Captain [P. M.] Savery's, SECOND Missouri; Captain [T. M.] Cochran's, SECOND Arkansas, and Captains [Benjamin F.] Weeks' and [J. W.] Stell's, of [L.] Willis' battalion, now under Major [H. W.] Bridges, may be ordered to rejoin their commands.

I inclose a copy of a letter, of which I forwarded the original on yesterday, * showing the dispositions I intended making of my forces, and my arrangements for getting out supplies form this part of the country. The latter can be continued for some time, even if a portion of the troops should be removed.


GAINESVILLE, July 23, 1863.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector GENERAL:

Your dispatch and that of the President of the 20th instant received I have furloughed the troops for thirty days, believing the best good of the service was subserved thereby, but now change it, giving the men from Tennessee thirty days, those from Georgia twenty days, those from Alabama and Mississippi FIFTEEN days, which will allow them all about ten days at home. I shall take immediate measures to notify all concerned. Had it been possible to have kept the army together, I should have done so, fully appreciating its importance. I except the Missouri troops in Demopolis by the 26th; will be there myself to-morrow, and will communicate more fully from that point.



*See Chalmers to Ruggles, p. 1023.