JACKSON, July 19, 1863.
General Parke is ordered to begin his march to-morrow back to Vicksburg, unless Steele's expedition to Brandon develops something unexpected. A deserter from a South Carolina brigade reports that Fort Sumter is in possession of the Yankees.
W. T. SHERMAN
[JULY 20, 1863.]
General Parke started in with two DIVISION this morning. General Ord will move to-morrow, and I will follow only when order and system are restored to this distracted country. The people are subdued, and ask for reconstruction. They admit the loss of the Southern cause.
Expedition from Canton and beyond is back, having done their task well, whipping Jackson's cavalry at Canton. The cavalry is also in from Brookhaven; burned four locomotives and many cars, depots, tanks, bridges, &c., so there is a break of 100 miles in the Great Central road.
Steele was at Brandon last night.
The drought is terrible, and must tell terribly on the enemy, retreating fast to the east through a parched and desert country.
Our march back will be slow and easy, regulated by water.
W. T. SHERMAN,
General GRANT, Vicksburg.
JACKSON, July 20, 1863-6 p. m.
Steele is back. All well. He drove the cavalry of the enemy beyond Brandon, and then destroyed depots and 3 miles of road there. I will remain to-morrow, batter down the Pearl River piers, destroy the bridge we have built, and make a good finish to one job.
The enemy is now all far beyond Pearl River, in full retreat, and Jackson is utterly destroyed as a military point.
If, on the day after the morrow, no change occurs, I will move my
corps slowly back to Black River, camp the DIVISION in good localities, and then report to you in person. I ask no indulgence for myself, but the men and officers need a couple of months of rest and relaxation.
W. T. SHERMAN,
Jackson, MISS., July 21, 1863-2 p. m.
We have desolated this land for 30 miles round about. There are about 800 women and children who will perish unless they receive some relief. May I promise mayor and committee of citizens, say, 200 barrels of flour and 100 barrels of salt pork, if they will send for it to Big Black Bridge and give me pledges that it shall be devoted to pure charity?
Judge Sharkey, Dr. Poindexter, and Mr. Yerger, with many other very intelligent and influential men, have consulted me as to moving in the matter of organizing the State to submit to the lawful authority of the United States. They admit themselves beaten, subdued, and charge