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GRANT, Ulysses S. ALS ("U. S. Grant") to Charles S. Hamilton, Headquarters Dept. of the Tennessee, Oxford, Miss., 21 December 1862. 2 pages, 4to, second page laid down.
GRANT, Ulysses S. ALS ("U. S. Grant") to Charles S. Hamilton, Headquarters Dept. of the Tennessee, Oxford, Miss., 21 December 1862. 2 pages, 4to, second page laid down.

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GRANT, Ulysses S. ALS ("U. S. Grant") to Charles S. Hamilton, Headquarters Dept. of the Tennessee, Oxford, Miss., 21 December 1862. 2 pages, 4to, second page laid down.

GRANT'S FIRST MOVE AGAINST VICKSBURG, THE DAY AFTER THE DEBACLE OF HOLLY SPRINGS

Grant tells Hamilton to "instruct the Divisions of MacArthur and Ross to move immediately upon Corinth by the most practical routes. The troops should be instructed to be as careful as possible of their rations. Organized foraging parties should be formed to collect all the provender and food that may be required and see to its proper distribution. In entering Corinth if it is ascertained that communications are cut North, as large a supply of forage as possible should be carried in with the troops. If it is learned that a move is being made in Corinth the troops should make a forced march to reach their destination. All mills in the route should be destroyed and the means of supporting an army carried off as far as practicable or destroyed also."

Here we see the unfortunate aftermath of Grant's first, unsuccessful move against Vicksburg. His plan called for Sherman to proceed down the Mississippi in conjunction with Admiral Porter, while Grant led an overland force. But on 18 December, Washington ordered Grant to divide his command into four corps, thereby disrupting his preferred plan of attack and making coordination and supply more difficult. Then the Confederates delivered a sharp blow, striking at the Union's vulnerable rear at Holly Springs, Mississippi on 20 December. They captured 1,500 troops and over $1.5 million in supplies. Grant was forced to abandon his attack, and he also faced a temporary supply crisis. Here, one day after the raid, he sets these "organized foraging parties" in motion. Not until the spring of 1863 would Grant hit on the winning strategy, lay siege to Vicksburg and ultimately force its capitulation.
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