of which I am giving an account. Without turning my arms in this direction my forces must have continued comparatively idle at Miliken's Bend until you should have altered your plan for the reduction of Vicksburg or recalled them.
Landing at intervals to supply my transports with fuel cut from the forest, or already cut and found upon the bank, the army safely arrived at the mouth of the White River on the 8th instant. Henceforth its operations were controlled by and but fulfilled the following instructions previously communicated by me to army corps commanders:
1st. Having arrived at the mouth of the White River, the commanders of army corps of the Army of the Mississippi will lose no time in moving their commands upon their transports up that river to the cut-off, and through it into and up the Arkansas River to a suitable point on the left bank of the river near and below Post Arkansas, for disembarkation.
2d. The army will move from the mouth of the White River in the following order: The Fifteenth Corps, Major-General Sherman commanding, forming the right wing, right in front, first, and the Thirteenth Corps, Brigadier-General Morgan commanding, forming the left wing in the same order, next.
3d. Arrived at the proposed point for debarkation the two corps will immediately disembark, being careful to preserve their distinction and to protect their landing by skirmishers and advanced detachments, * * * and rapidly march as follows: The Fifteenth Corps, Major-General Sherman commanding, by the rear of the Post until the right of the corps has reached the river above the Post, * * * being careful to guard against the surprise of rear attack, and to keep his command clear of the range of our gunboats' fire. The Thirteenth Corps, Brigadier-General Morgan commanding, will follow the Fifteenth and form * * * on its left.
4th. Each corps should extend its lines so as to complete the investment of the enemy's works; and if, in order to do so, the left wing has to move so far to the right as to leave too great a space between its left and the river, the same will be secured by a detachment of infantry and artillery from the Thirteenth Corps, posted in a commanding position for that purpose.
5th. Notwithstanding what precedes, the commander of the Thirteenth Corps will debark two regiments of infantry, one company of cavalry, and three pieces of artillery at suitable point on the right bank of the river and near and below the Post, under instructions to ascend to right bank, beyond the reach of the enemy's guns on the opposite shore to a point on the river above the Post giving control of the river.
6th. Skirmishers should in all instances precede the movements herein ordered. Cavalry detachments should be sent out in different directions to reconnoiter the country. Reserves should be kept to the rear of the investing lines ready to be moved to any point in case the enemy should venture to make a sortie; and to every battery of light artillery a company of infantry should be detailed, for the purpose of protecting it and assisting its advance.
7th. Having completed the investment according to the plan indicated the enemy will be equally cut off from re-enforcements and escape, and must, together with his works and all his munitions, become to our arms.
Ascending to Notrib's farm, 3 miles from the fort, by way of White River, the cut-off, and the Arkansas, my object was to deceive the enemy to the latest moment as to my destination and the point upon which the suspended blow would all; and I have reason to believe that I succeeded in so doing until I had approached within 30 miles of the fort.
Landing on the left bank of the river, at Notrib's farm, at 5 p.m. on the 9th, the work of disembarking was busily continued until noon next day, when it was completed.
In the mean time, accompanied by Lieutenant-Colonel Schwartz, of my staff, by 8 a.m. on the 10th instant, I had reconnoitered the river road and a portion of the levee extending at right angles from it, within 1 1/2 miles of the fort, and discovered that the enemy was abandoning a line of rifle-pits, about half a mile above the levee, under stress of the fire of one of the gunboats. Communicating with General Sherman, I suggested to him the eligibility of the river road, from which he might diverge at or near the levee, in making a detour for the purpose of in-