HANKINSON'S FERRY, MISS., May 5, 1863.
Major General B. M. PRENTISS, Comdg. Dist. Of Eastern Arkansas:
GENERAL: You will send, without delay, immediately after the are receipt of this order, all the cavalry in your district, except two regiments, to report to Major General S. A. Hurlbut, commanding the SIXTEENTH Army Corps, at Memphis, Tenn.
Lieutenant Colonel J. D. Bingham, chief quartermaster, has been directed to instruct all steamers leaving Milliken's Bend to report to you, to assist in transporting the troops to Memphis.
U. S. GRANT.
CAMP AT PERKINS', May 5, 1863-7 a. m.
SIR: I received your letter last night, telling of the sinking of one tug, and the two burning barges floating by tell the rest of the tale.
I now inclose you an order* to come forward to me at Grand Gulf, leaving four regiments-two at Milliken's Bend and two at
Richmond-which two must in turn be relieved by others to be sent down from Memphis. Turn over all command to General Sullivan and come forward, bringing along as much rations and stores as you can, for there is little or nothing down here. Send me word by courier when you will reach Grand Gulf, and in what order. I was down to Grand Gulf last night. Grant was supposed to be out about 24 miles.
The enemy has escaped across Big Black River, and Grant will now probably strike in the direction of the Jackson Railroad.
It was Grierson who made the cavalry raid down to Meridian, and he is supposed to be traveling toward Baton or Dixie. It has produced a sort of panic South, and Grant's movements will complete it, some say.
Of course, I wish you to come forward with all possible expedition; only bring your men in good shape.
W. T. SHERMAN.
PERKIN'S, May 5, 1863.
Major General FRED. STEELE:
DEAR GENERAL: I have General Grant's orders to come to Grand Gulf and cross over with my two DIVISIONS. The only road is down the river, to a point opposite where, I am told, the steamers ferry troops. You will, therefore, not stop at Perkin's, but march right along down the Mississippi to a point opposite Grand Gulf, continuing your march, so that your men may arrive in good order and condition. The distance from here is represented at 20 miles.
I am, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN.
CAMP AT PERKINS', May 5, 1863.
Brigadier General J. M. TUTTLE, Comdg. THIRD DIVISION:
GENERAL: I have General Grant's orders to march my two DIVISIONS down to Grand Gulf and to cross over. The distance from Perkins' is
*Special Orders, Number 98, of same date.
18 R R-VOL XXIV, PT. III