War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0436 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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proach, and gave us no annoyance whatever. When they fired on us, as they did yesterday did and to day, we knew exactly what force was necessary to repulse and drive them, and did not have to delay our march.

The valley of the Yazoo is one of the most fertile spots I ever saw, and we found supplies and forage sufficient to supply Joe Johnston's army for a month, if the has 40,000 men. I used all that we could and destroyed the rest. We must have burned 500,000 bushels of corn and immense quantities of bacon, most of which was concealed by its owners, but discovered and either appropriated or destroyed my order.

I destroyed every grist-mill in the valley, and have driven in to this nearly equal to the number of men in my command, and the cavalry horses. I also ordered the empty wagons to load with cotton, and I thing they have brought 30 or 40 bales. I burned all the balance of the cotton I found, except as small quantity within our picket lines, which can be secured fort the Government if it is desired.

Joe Johnston will find very little for his army in the country between the Black River and Yazoo, for 45 miles north of Vicksburg.

I consider Mechanicsburg as the great strategic point between the two rivers. Yu can reach it by three different and parallel roads from Vicksburg, and you can supply an army there by means of the Yazoo, from which it is only 3 miles distant, at the town of Sataria. It is situated at the narrowest place between the two rivers, and communicates by good and direct roads with Benton, Yazoo City, Kibby's Ferry, and Cox' Ferry, on the Big Black River, and also with Bridgeport, on the Black River.

I have no doubt that Joe Johnston is collecting a considerable force at Canton and other places beyond the Black River. Every men we picked up was going to Canton to join him. The negroes told me their masters had joined him there, and those who were too old to go, or who could escape on any other pretext, told me the same story. I consider it very certain that he has a considerable force, and is using every effort to increase it, and the hope of relief from that quarter is all that delays the surrender of Vicksburg.

A waiting your further orders, I am, respectfully yours,

FRANK P. BLAIR, Jr.

Major General U. S. GRANT,

P. S. -I wish you would send me orders Here to turn over to E. M. Joel, captain and assistant quartermaster, all the mules,, horses, cattle, cotton &c, captured by this command, for the use of the Government. The command is composed of officers who belong to so many different corps that I would prefer you giving the order to giving it myself, which I shall, however, do if it is necessary.

Number 2. Reports of Brigadier General Nathan Kimball, u. S. Army, commanding Division. Headquarters KIMBALL'S PROVISIONAL DIVISION, Satartia, MISS, June 4, 1863-4 p. m.

SIR: I have the honor to report that I reached Here at 11 a. m. to-day and found General Mower just moving out with his brigade. I immedi-