government as the secesh, and between the two I like the secesh best, because they are a brave, open enemy, and not a set of sneaking, croaking scoundrels. I believe a diversion at Haynes' Bluff is proper and right, and will make it, let whatever reports of repulse be made. The Choctaw is here, and you will hear commanding at Haynes' Bluff to-morrow and the day after.
With great respect,
W. T. SHERMAN.
HEADQUARTERS Fifteenth ARMY CORPS, Camp before Vicksburg, April 28, 1863.
Major T. S. BOWERS, Adjutant, Headquarters General Grant:
DEAR MAJOR: I go up the Yazoo to-morrow to make a diversion in Grant's favor. It is important that the general should know all that is transpiring here. Send him by courier the letter which comes with this, and, if anything comes for me, open the letters, show them to Steele or send them up the Yazoo, according to contents. I will be there three days, at least. In that time I hope to make the enemy move many troops, which otherwise would be moving against Grant at Grand Gulf.
W. T. SHERMAN.
[NEAR Vicksburg, April 28, 1863.]
General F. P. BLAIR:
DEAR GENERAL: I copy part of a letter received in the night from General Grant. In case of a demonstration on Haynes' Bluff, I will want the SECOND DIVISION in to make it, but you will perceive the inglorious nature of it. I will go up to see Breese, and also to increase the efforts on the road, a copy of which order you will also see. In case of a demonstration, the men composing the expedition should have simply two days' rations on their persons. I will not resolve on it till I see what boats the navy has available.
The effect of a heavy demonstration in that direction (Haynes') would be good, so far as the enemy are concerned, but I am loth to order it, because it would be so hard to make our troops understand that only a demonstration was intended, and our people at home would characterize it as a repulse. I therefore leave it to you whether to make such a demonstration. If made at all, I would advise that you publish your order beforehand, stating that a reconnaissance in force was to be made for the purpose of calling the enemy's attention from our movements south of Vicksburg, and not with any expectation of attacking. I shall probably move on Grand Gulf to-morrow.
U. S. GRANT.
The effect on our troops would be bad. The dear people would be encouraged by a new repulse, and it is too late to have any effect on Grand Gulf.
A demonstration to be converted into a real attack would probably succeed now, but it won't do to make a foothold at Haynes' Bluff and Grand Gulf too. I will see what Breese has, and also at Milliken's Bend, and be back about 12 noon.