The people of the country must find out the truth as they best can; it is none of their business. You are engaged in a hazardous enterprise, and, for good reasons, wish to divert attention; that is sufficient to me, and it shall be done. I will be all ready at daylight, and shall embark the men the moment Captain Breese notifies me he is ready.
I have urged General Tuttle, in person, to push the wagon road from Duckport to Walnut Bayou, and will let him have no peace till it is done, and will put a train of about 100 of my regimental wagons on it. Another train of my wagons, from Steele's DIVISION, will travel the road by which McPherson went out.
For forage and provisions, we might run the batteries on some of the boats that are now useless on account of the decline in the waters of Walnut Bayou. The road Young's Point Biggs' and Bedford's, below Warrenton, is out of the question; dismiss it from your calculations. The only roads are via Walnut Bayou, and that bayou can only be reached from Milliken's Bend and Duckport.
All is well here, but the rains have made the roads, as you know, muddy and full of ruts.
I am, in haste, your, truly,
W. T. SHERMAN,
CAMP BEFORE Vicksburg, April 28, 1863.
Major-General GRANT, Comdg. Army in the Field, Carthage:
DEAR GENERAL: General Tuttle will finish the road to-morrow across the Walnut Bayou, along the new canal, and my quartermaster, in
co-operation with Colonel Bingham, chief quartermaster, will put on it a train of 100 wagons, collected from my regimental trains, which can be kept constantly hauling to Richmond. Another train of about 80 wagons, from Steele's DIVISION, including my DIVISION and headquarters trains, will be put on the road from Milliken's Bend to Richmond. I think you had better leave Colonel Bingham to control the movement of supplies from the river to Richmond, and leave your trains to haul them to Perkins' plantation. Colonel Bingham can appoint a quartermaster at Richmond to load wagons arriving there, or to ship by barge from that place.
The trains from your end and those here should be equalized and meet at Richmond. I have ordered Steele, who commands at Milliken's Bend, to place two regiments at Richmond, to guard that point, looking to the direction of the Tensas; also two regiments to be employed as a working party on the road from Milliken's to Richmond. As soon as the cavalry arrives, I have ordered Steele to cause it to patrol the road between the Bend and the Tensas.
The Choctaw has arrived. We have heard some cannonading in the direction of Grand Gulf. I hope you are in possession of that place. To-morrow I will take ten regiments and go up the Yazoo. I will feel Chickasaw Bayou, and the next day draw the fire of Haynes' Bluff. I will hand about Benson Blake's, about where the Tuscumbia turned back when we reconnoitered there, and make such a demonstration as will force the enemy to re-enforce heavily at that place, and to that extent draw from Big Black River. I will use troops that I know will trust us, and not be humbugged by a repulse. The men have sense, and will trust us. As to the reports in newspapers, we must scorn them, else they will ruin us and our country. They are as much enemies to good