War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0089 Chapter XXXVI. GENERAL REPORTS.

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front, where the approaches are naturally most favorable to us and the enemy's line of works evidently much the weakest, nothing in the way of siege operations had been accomplished when I was there last evening. Lieutenant-Colonel Powell, whom General Grant sent to examine the line, reported that McClernand's artillery was in good position and effectively distributed.

Pemberton sent a flag at 4 p. m. yesterday, asking for a truce of two hours and a half to bury the dead. The bodies of our men fell about his works last Friday, and whom we have not been able to bring off evidently caused his garrison great annoyance by their odor. He probably also hoped to gain information. The truce was had and the dead buried. Deserters from the town state uniformly that supplies of food and ammunition are short. Thirty days is the limit during which they say Pemberton may hold out. His officers with the flag yesterday loudly declared that they had provisions for six months. General Grant was determined to fortify Haynes' Bluff on the land side against any possible attack. Troops have been sent to important points in that quarter to guard against the contingency of the enemy coming in. We have, however, no information to cause the fear of such an event happening immediately; but allow me earnestly to urge the necessity of putting a force here at once which will render futile all attempts to raise this siege. This town must fall unless the enemy bring troops in great numbers from the east and southeast, and that should be provided against. It is an incomparable position as regards the health and comfort of our men. These high, wooded hills afford pure air and shade fail it can easily be brought from the Mississippi. General Grant last night sent a staff officer to General Banks, urging him to bring his force here as promptly as practicable, and assuring him that he (Grant) would gladly serve under him as his superior in rank, or simply co-operate with him for the benefit of the common cause, if he should prefer that course.


Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

BEHIND Vicksburg, May 27, 1863-9 a. m.,


The cavalry sent out a few days since found a body of enemy about 30 miles northeast of Haynes' Bluff, and returned without having effected their purpose. General Grant had determined to clear the country in that direction; yesterday sent out three brigades of McPherson's corps under McArthur and three of Sherman's under Mower, the whole commanded by F. P. Blair, to disperse rebels, who are 6,000 to 8,000 commanded by W. H. T. Walker, and to devastate the region, so that an army must carry all its supplies in order to pass through it. The forces marched hence just after dusk, without wagons. Deserters who came in yesterday from different parts of the city agree in the statement that the garrison is on quarter rations. About 9 cubic inches of corn bread and one-quarter pound of boiled fresh without relief. The reserve consists of one brigade and a half only. Deserters differ as to the supply of ammunition, some saying there is plenty, others that it is scarce. According to them all, a majority of the privates wish to surrender the place, but the officers are determined to fight to the last. Our engineers