which has lately been operating from here to Saint Joseph's Lake, has crossed over to Grand Gulf.
Most truly, your obedient servant,
JOHN A. McClernand.
MILLIKEN'S BEND, La., April 21, 1863.
Major General WILLIAM T. SHERMAN, Comdg. Fifteenth Army Corps:
A steam fleet will run the Vicksburg batteries to-night, leaving north of the Yazoo about 10. 30 p. m. They have been directed to round to when opposite Colonel Abbott's pickets, and report to him. Please inform Colonel Abbott of this fact, and instruct him to put out a signal light soon after he hears the batteries open.
U. S. GRANT.
HEADQUARTERS Fifteenth ARMY CORPS, Camp before Vicksburg, April 21, 1863.
Major-General GRANT, Milliken's Bend:
SIR: The party of men sent to burn the houses on the point immediately in front of Vicksburg returned unsuccessful. The whole point was under water, and the only means of reaching the houses was along and old levee with many breaks in it, though which the water sets in a strong current. On both sides of that levee the fallen abatis is impassable. The houses ordered to be destroyed are within 1,000 yards of the heaviest Vicksburg batteries, and the officer sent drew seventeen shots before he gave it up. In the night, I dispatched another party, who found the place picketed strongly. The party was fired on, having 1 man wounded, and returned. The enemy has too great and advantage there, and I doubt if we can destroy the buildings in question without a great cost of life.
Spite of all we can to, they can light up this shore, and steamboats running the blockade must reckon on this as one of he certain attending dangers. A gunboat should be below Vicksburg, to haul out of danger crippled boats, else the loss will be heavy, but I suppose this is impossible now.
W. T. SHERMAN.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE TENNESSEE, Number 111.
Milliken's Bend, La., April 21, 1863.
VII. The following will be the order of running the Vicksburg batteries by the steamers designated for that purpose:
1. At 9 p. m. to-night all the boats designated will steam down the river to the mouth of the Yazoo River, each taking one barge in tow, where they will remain in the channel until signaled to leave.
2. George W. Graham, master of transportation, will designate the signal to be used, and also the order in which the boats will run. On the signal being given, the first boat named will drop down with the current, and each six minutes thereafter each boat, in the order designated, will be signaled to follow. No steam will be used unless absolutely necessary for the management of the steamers until arriving near