your map as follows: One and a half miles east of Young's where the road comes in from Markham, mark Hill's; 1. 1/2 miles southeast of Hill's Jones plantation: 2 miles below Birdsong Ferry, Jones Ford; 1. 1/2 miles southeast of Cameron, Messinger's plantation and Ford; 1 mile east of Fox, mark Parson Fox; 3 miles east of Tifin, on the Bridgeport road, brook. All these points may become of note. I still regard the country at Tiffin, brant, Cowan, w. Dixon, and Hardaway as the keypoints of this region.
I still have my headquarters by the roadside, in front of Tribb's where the road forks to Young's and Markham's.
When this letter is read, please send it to my adjutant, to be copied in my letter-book, and returned to you for file.
I am, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN,
Colonel John A. RAWLINS,
BIG BLACK, June 30, 1863.
I am at General Osterhaus', in a visit. All quiet along the Big Black River. A cavalry force, under Colonel Bussey, went yesterday 15 miles up the ridge, and returned along Big Black River, down as far as mouth of Bear Creek. Saw nothing of interest. The cavalry of the enemy can, be seen opposite Messinger's but quit immediately on a few rounds of Parrot shell. All the troops are now in position. Please telegraph me if anything new. I feel uneasy about the affairs about Washington. Have seen the Saint Louis papers of the 24th. Have you anything later!.
W. T. SHERMAN.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE, July 1, 1863.
GENERAL: I am just in from a circuit. All is absolutely silent along Big River.
One of your best scouts, Tuttle, is just in from Bolton, where I sent him to see if he could learn if any part of Johnston's army had passed south of the railroad; especially to watch the course of army wagons. He could see or hear nothing to show that a movement south was in progress, I well send him out to Auburn to-night.
Osterhaus watches Baldwin's and Hall's Ferries. It might be well to send a small force to the red church, between Warrenton and Hankinson's to make a show. My troops are in such a bayou should be made impassable.
I am at one bridge, as high up as possible, shortening the neck between it and the branch (see your map), and I have a good road to run between the railroad, via Tiffin, Bovina, and Noland. I think Johnston may feint to the south, but do not think he will risk chances in the pocket of Black River. Still, we must watch him close, I will have a scout out on an old road from Rocky Springs and Auburn, and can tell quickly if anything is afloat.