Head Quarters, Dept. of the Ten.
Before Vicksburg, Feb.y 22d 1863.
MAJ. GEN. HURLBUT,
COMD. G 16TH ARMY CORPS
So soon as all the rolling stock of the rail-road is got away from Columbus the road North from Jackson may be abandoned, disposing of the troops guarding it as your judgement may dictate.
I directed Gen. Hamilton to have all workshops, Depots of stores, and every thing not required by the troops, removed from all posts between Grand Junction and Corinth, via Jackson, removed to points intended to be perminantly occupied, so that in case of necessity this part of the road may be abandoned and the troops removed to wherever their services may be required. I do not want Jackson abandoned however except in case of absolutely necessity.
If Col. Lee is perfectly satisfied that some of his men are being punished as described in his report, by rebel authority, he may serve in the same manner an equal number of the enemy and open a correspondence with Gen. Tilghman as he proposes. 1
I will want one Division of troops brought forward and held in readiness to be join this expedition when called for.
I sent orders some time ago for the 2d Ill. Cavalry to be forwarded here without delay. As they have not come I presume my order never reached you. They may now be held for further orders.
If the six 8 in. howitzers at Memphis have not yet been sent here they need not be sent but forward them to Corinth, with all the ammunition belonging to them. The 1st Inf.y will come here as per orders. 2
Gen. McClernand's Army Corps is deficient in Artillery. 3 I have not the returns before me to designate any particular bat