November 29, 1862: Will they fight at the Tallahatchie?

William Tecumseh Sherman

Grant’s advance southward toward Vicksburg requires that his army get across the swampy Tallahatchie River in northern Mississippi. Grant passed on a report to Sherman from the front with the news that Van Dorn, reinforced, is prepared to resist a crossing.

Official Record

Commanding Right Wing:

GENERAL: You two dispatches just received. I inclose with this one just received form Hamilton, which will give you the latest news from the front. I have directed Hamilton to move to his south and east, so as to let McPherson, who is now here with one division, in between him and you. Mac’s second division will be up by 10 a. m. to-morrow, and could go on to Lumpkin’s Mill, but I will retain it until Monday. If you can find water to your southeast, or rather to the southeast of Chulahoma, I would like you to move in that direction. At Chulahoma our front will be too extended. I will direct Hurlbut to send the cavalry of which you speak-sent as you desire. I do not know positively of any ford on the Tallahatchie west of the railroad except at Wyatt. To the east there are several, but I cannot now send you a sketch showing them. The crossings between Coil’s Ferry and Wyatt I believe are all ferries. Between Wyatt and the railroad I think there is no ford.


Sundown, November 29, 1862.

GENERAL: Lee has pushed the enemy to within 4 miles of Tallahatchie, and will hold his position for the present. His advance was a
continual skirmish. He sends in 1 prisoner and finds 4 dead rebels on the road.

The enemy will fight on the Tallahatchie. Country in front of us stripped of forage.

Please notify me of the completion of telegraph, so that I can call in courier posts. My scout is in from Grenada. About 7,000 troops have come up to Van Dorn in last two weeks. Mouth of Tippah Creek thoroughly fortified.

Enemy has no idea of evacuating as yet. Scout heard nothing of movement of Steele.


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