hitherto north and northeast of Haynes' Bluff are now all the other side of Big Black, have sent their knapsacks and wagons to Canton, and with three day's cooked rations are moving southward of Vernon. An intelligent spy estimates them at three DIVISIONS, with one battery only to each. The whole operation is a puzzle here. General Grant has ordered a heavy reconnaissance eastward from Haynes' Bluff, and Sherman has a strong force blockading the roads with fallen timber on every possible line which might be used for a rear attack on General Grant between Haynes' Bluff and the Jackson Railroad.
Ord reports that it will require about ten days to bring the siege works in his front to the same general efficiency and safety as those of McPherson and Sherman.
The trenches opened by McClernand are mere rifle pits 3 or 4 feet wide, and will neither allow the passage of artillery nor the assemblage of any considerable numbers of troops. There are no places for arms of troops, and the batteries are, with scarcely an exception, in the position they apparently held when the siege was opened. The rifle-pits are also not systematically arranged for the defenses and strengthening of each other. This, as Ord reports, is apparently not the fault of Lieutenant P. C. Hains, the engineer in charge of that part of the lines, but is due to the fact that the corps commanders and generals of DIVISIONS were not willing to follow his directions, either as to the manner of opening the lines of advance or the positions of the batteries to protect those lines. Deserters from within the town report that during the bombardment of day before yesterday the whole garrison was under arms, expecting an assault, and that the Tennessee and Georgia regiments which are stationed on the rebel left, in front of Steele, were resolved to stack their arms, but their officers urged them to hold out, saying among other things that they had rations for a week longer, and that it would be disgraceful to surrender as long as they still had the means of defense; besides, it was probable that Joe Johnston would relieve them before the end of that period.
General Grant is sending a flag to Taylor, at Delhi, La., to notify him that the Government is bound to protect all its enlisted soldiers, and that if he(Taylor) is resolved to hang prisoners of war, the issue must be accepted on our side.
C. A. DANA.
Honorable E. M. STANTON
Secretary of War.
NEAR Vicksburg, MISS., June 24, 1863-10 a. m.,
VIA MEMPHIS, June 28-Noon.
(Received July 1-11 p. m.)
The report that Joe Johnston had crossed Big Black, or was crossing, was erroneous. Sherman can find no trace of him. He is still on the other side. The siege goes on as usual. I was at Herron's lines yesterday. He has pushed them forward with much energy. His rifle-pits extend within 150 yards of the enemy, and his batteries are well advanced. We have by the gunboat Arizona, of Admiral Farragut's fleet, which arrived at Warrenton yesterday, a report that General Banks had taken Port Hudson. No details have reached us.
C. A. DANA.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.