DescriptionWilliam T. Sherman Autograph Letter Signed "W. T. Sherman." Four pages, 8" x 10", "Head Qrs. Army of the Tenn.", October 24, 1863, to Major General James B. McPherson of the 17th Army Corps at Vicksburg, Mississippi, which had been taken by Grant's army three months before. Regarding the defense of Vicksburg, Sherman says, in part:
"I regard the Yazoo as a kind of shield against the Main River and therefore Vicksburg should be held with the tenacity of Life. Also Haines Bluff. But as the enemy cannot bring artillery against you, make the earth works as small and perfect as possible. The high point north of Vicksburg is a Gibraltar. One similar south, and a Citadel at the old Tower."
With regard to Natchez, south of Vicksburg, he says, in part: "I don't see the use of a Fire at Natchez. The Enemy has drawn from the pace every man that is worth a cent to them as a soldier, and the buildings and property place in security for the good behavior of the People, that is a threat to destroy Natchez and valuable plantations there will prevent any molestation of the River which is the Grand desideratum."
Sherman has reason to believe that "the Southern Traders [sic] are making a stray effort to retake Tennessee, or resist Grants supposed intention to push to Atlanta and have pushed all or nearly all their force to Georgia and North East Alabama." He then suggests two courses of actions:
"...the time is most opportune for executing one of two or it may be both projects which I will merely sketch.
1st. The destruction in lots of a large section of the Railroad at Meridian, the larger and more perfect the better.
2nd. A trip up Yazoo to about Tchula and strike from there to the Railroad between Canton and Grenada, and break a large section of it making its repair impracticable.
The former is of vital importance, the latter of minor, but either would be rich in results at some future time."
The letter is on blue-lined paper with a large stained area on the first page that does not affect the text. Vertical fold is weakened and separating in three places which are held together with tape. Fine condition.
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