Hd Qrs, Dept of the Tennessee.
Oxford, Miss. Dec 21st 1862.
MAJ GEN. MCPHERSON.
I have ordered two Divisions back to Corinth and facts may develop through the day which will make it necessary to send much more force to that point. 1 It is now reported that Bragg is in motion for Corinth. If so our whole force will be required for its defense.
You will fall back therefore to the North bank of the Tallahatchie by which time facts enough will be developed to determine upon our further course. 2
My present plan is to send Quinby's and Logan's Divisions to Memphis and either you or Hamilton in command and to go myself, if allowed and send the other two Divisions to Bolivar from which position they can be made available for any point that may be threatened
If the rebels get such a check as to leave the road in a condition to be repaired in one week I shall hold the line of the Tallahatchie for the present.
If I go to Memphis I shall take either you or Hamilton leaving the other in command of all the forces except those accompanying the river expedition.
U. S. GRANT
Copies, DLC-USG, V, 18, 30, 91; DNA, RG 393, Dept. of the Tenn., Letters Sent. O. R., I, xvii, part 2, 451-52. On Dec. 21, 1862, Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson, "Camp Yucknapatafa," wrote to USG. "I will commense my march for the 'Tallahatchie' tomorrow morning—I would like very much to see the Officer who is to remain in chg of the Cavalry to have some definite understanding about destroying the Wagon road Bridges as we retire—I propose to have a Regt. of Infantry move back along the line of the R. R. and destroy every bridge and Trestle work from the 'Otuck' north—I sent over to General Denver yester