General Sherman. General Johnston was supposed at the time to be crossing Big Black with 30,000 men.
We bivouacked on the 23rd, at Straus', on the Birdsong Ferry road, an moved on the 30th to Tiffin, which General Sherman called a keypoint, where earthworks and rifle-pits were constructed. At this bivouacked the great Fourth shone with new glory upon the tidings of the surrender of Vicksburg.
While the brigade was not engaged in these expeditions it took its share and furnished full details in the trenches, pickets, sharpshooter, and all fatigues along General Logan's front. Staff officers of DIVISION and corps headquarters remarked that the working parties from the SECOND Brigade were conspicuous for their assiduity and the amount they performed.
During the siege every order was obeyed with alacrity, every duty required was performed with prompt cheerfulness, and privations were turned into jests. The entire brigade is actuated by an earnest and intelligent desire to put a final end to the rebellion.
I may add that the day after the brigade took position near Jackson with General Sherman, leaving the Seventy-eight Ohio at Clinton, information was received of a heavy cavalry force having been sent to cut off our communications with Vicksburg. The brigade was ordered back to Clinton. Part of this cavalry force left Clinton and withdrew, after skirmishing, in which Lieutenant-Colonel Wiles handled the Seventy-eight very skillfully. The other regiments, by a hasty march reached Clinton after the close of the skirmish, pout before Lieutenant-Colonel Wiles had recalled all his deployed companies.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant.
M. F. FORCE,
Colonel Twentieth Ohio Volunteers, commanding Brigade.
Lieutenant Colonel W. T. CLARK,
Asst. Adjt. General SEVENTEENTH Army Corps.
Number 49. Report of Brigadier General Thomas E. G. Ransom, u. S. Army commanding SECOND Brigade, sixth DIVISION, including operations since April 26. HDQRS. SECOND Brigadier, SIXTH DIV., SEVENTEENTH A. C. Near Vicksburg, MISS. May 26, 1863.
COLONEL: In compliance with Paragraph III, special Orders, number 92, dated Headquarters SEVENTEENTH Army Corps, near Vicksburg, MISS. May 24, 1863, I have the honor to report that I moved my brigade from Milliken's Bend, La., with THE DIVISION of General McArthur, on the 26th, and encamped at Smith's plantation, on Bayou Vidal, on the 28th ultimo, where I remained, employing my troops in guarding the line of communication and repairing the roads from Richmond to Perkin's plantation, and, with the aid of the Sixth DIVISION pioneer corps, under Captain Bush, SEVENTEENTH Illinois Infantry, constructed a brigade across Bayou Vidal and a road to James' plantation, thus shortening the line of land communication 10 miles. While lying at this point, I collected and forwarded to Grand Gulf a large number of stragglers and convalescent soldiers, and gathered up and forwarded an immense quantity of ammunition, subsistence stores, camp equipage, and intrenching tools, cleaning up the whole debris of the army in advance of me.
*Nominal list, omitted, embodied in revised statements.