War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0266 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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The brigade so left can furnish the guard for the new bridge at Port Gibson. Leave the remainder of the reserve DIVISION at the forks of the road where you turn directly to the left this place, and about 7 miles from Port Gibson.

This is the SECOND place where you take the left-hand road to reach this place.

U. S. GRANT.

HEADQUARTERS THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS, In the Field, North Branch of Bayou Pierre, May 3, 1863.

Major General U. S. GRANT, Comdg. Dept. Of the Tennessee:

GENERAL: I have just received word from General Carr. He threw skirmishers across Bayou Pierre on the burning ruins of the railroad bridge, and found that the enemy had retreated.

He commenced retreating last night at 1 o'clock, expecting that we would move on the railroad road from Port Gibson to Grand Gulf. He had brought up 8,000 men as a re-enforcement, had fortified at the railroad bridge, and all the heights to Grand Gulf; but seeing our flank movements, Pemberton, who was in command, said that he must fall back, and accordingly (as I have already said) is doing so.

JOHN A. McClernand.

HEADQUARTERS THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS, near Willow Springs, May 3, 1863.

Major General U. S. GRANT, Comdg. Dept. Of the Tennessee:

GENERAL: I am closed up in the rear of the long train attached to the SEVENTEENTH Army Corps. If that corps is able of itself to go on, there is no occasion for the train to get out of my way, but if you think I should be in supporting relation to it, the train should be ordered to our side. The enemy from the best accounts were massed at and near the lower bridge at Port Gibson, expecting that we would move on the direct road to Grand Gulf. The flank movement now being expected I think is rapidly drawing him in the direction of the crossing of Big Black.

Had you not better be careful lest you may personally fall in with the enemy on your way to Grand Gulf?

JOHN A. McClernand.

HEADQUARTERS THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS, In the Field, Willow Ford, May 3, 1863.

Major General U. S. GRANT, Comdg. Dept. of the Tennessee:

GENERAL: My corps will be out of rations to-morrow. I am, as you are aware, without means of transportation. I ask that you will cause rations to be sent out immediately, in charge of some officer instructed to report to me. Lieutenant-Colonel [Wesford] Taggart is behind, collecting what articles of subsistence he can, but the troops in advance left scarcely anything. I would suggest a fact which may become very important in connection with the subject of this communication. It is this: Ten miles farther on the Jackson road, the Big Black can be reached at Hall's Ferry, within 2 miles. The Big Black might be navigated to that ferry.

JOHN A. McClernand.