Cavalry to the TalleHatchie tomorrow, will be at mouth of Cold Water the 25th. If they can cross, they will come to Oxford If not will wait a day or two to hear from you. But if it comes onrain, we must return to the Miss River, as they cannot cross the river bottom, and would be cut off by mire & overflow. Genl Sherman will be at the mouth of Yazoo on the 24th. I have Infantry at Friars point" ALS, DNA, RG 393, Dept. of the Tenn., Letters Received. O.R., I, xvii, part 2, 464. On Dec. 27, Gorman wrote to Maj. Gen. Stephen A. Hurlbut. "If you have a chance to Send a dispatch Safely through to Genl Grant I respectfully ask that he may be informed that agreeable to his request, I sent Genl Washburn with 2000 Cavalry and 4 pieces of Artillry to Cold Water, and with orders to make his way to Genl Grant if possible. That I have garrisoned Friars Point, with Infantry Artillery and Cavalry. Genl Washburn found the bottom lands so utterly impassible that he was compelled to return, and when the least rain falls at this Season of the year the bottoms are impassable at all points between the Miss & TalleHatchie. That evry effort has been made to get a communication with Oxford but it is impossible from the causes stated There is no enemy in force this side the TalleHatchie." ALS, DNA, RG 393, Dept. of the Tenn., Letters Received. O.R., I, xvii, part 2, 496.
Head Quarters, Dept. of the Ten.
Holly Springs Miss. Dec. 28th 1862
MAJ. GEN. J. A. MCCLERNAND
The mail taken over by the train, escorted by Gen. Quinby, contains a letter of instructions addressed to you, care of Gen. Tuttle, Cairo. This letter was written the same evening the dispatch from the Gen. in-chief was received and immediately mailed. But when the cars got as far as Jackson they found they could proceed no further. Since this there has been no communications with the North prior to this train under Gen. Quinby.
I do not know what facilities you will be able to get for reaching your command. I have no controll over the gunboats and no communication with the North except by way of Memphis. You can then Gen. better make arrangements for a passage down the river than I can.