the road from Milliken's Bend to Richmond is one. You will encamp your DIVISION in good order, with full tents, at the best camping ground you can find. By to-morrow or Wednesday I expect McPherson's corps will be at or beyond Richmond. You will detach to that point two regiments, under orders of some good colonel, with instructions to march to Richmond and take post so as to cover the bridge at that point, and to send vedettes and pickets up the bayou to the northwest, in the direction of the Tensas, as far as the retiring waters will admit. You will also send some intelligent officer along, with orders to examine the bayou up toward Tensas in a boat, or, if the waters admit, along the levee, and make written report of the condition of the plantations-as to people, negroes and whites, corn, plowing, planting,&c. If guerrillas or an enemy threaten that road from the west, it must be at or near Richmond and from the direction of Tensas. Also instruct the officer who holds that point to erect a few log block-houses, or convert the cotton sheds, cabins, and houses of some plantation into a defensive outpost, to guard against a sudden dash of mounted men. I take it for granted that the swamp back of Milliken's is under water, but I wish you to cause frequent inspections of the roads back to Bear Lake and to the northwest, and report the moment waters subside so as to make them practicable. General Grant directs me to control matters at this end. You will, therefore, assume absolute control over everybody on shore on in boats tied to the shore at Milliken's Bend, and enforce good order. Men in hospital must be in their hospital camps. Quartermasters must not be wandering about, and all soldiers and citizens must be kept within the limits of good behavior. Put the negroes in some out of the way place, where their women will not be the source of broils and disorder. When General [L.] Thomas returns from Carthage, he can dispose of them on plantations above up. A ferry will make two daily trips between, and I will expect frequent reports.
I am, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN.
SMITH'S PLANTATION, La., April 27, 1863.
Brigadier-General McARTHUR, Comdg. Sixth DIVISION:
GENERAL: General Sherman is ordered to guard the road from Milliken's Bend to Richmond, and including the latter place. You will, therefore, move your command forward, and hold it in
reserve-one brigade at Holmes' plantation and the other at this place.
All the teams be organized into a general supply train, and sent back to Milliken's Bend for commissary stores and ammunition.
You will keep the wagon road between Richmond and this point in repair as far as possible. Holmes' plantation is about 9 miles this side of Richmond, where there is a fine cotton-gin, with a new lattice-tower on the top of it for a signal station.
This point (Smith's plantation) is about 17 miles this side of Richmond.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. B. McPHERSON.
SMITH'S PLANTATION, April 27, 1863.
Colonel John B. SANBORN, Comdg. Seventh DIVISION:
COLONEL; You will move your command forward as soon as practicable, after Major-General Logan's DIVISION passes, to the Perkins plantation
16 R R-VOL XXIV, PT. III