represented at 20 miles, and the road lies along the levee; therefore continue your march down, so as to reach Grand Gulf in good order.
I apprehend great difficulty in the matter of food, and caution you to give the subject your whole attention. Instruct all regimental commanders that every ounce of food must be economized.
I fear the four barges which were designed to pass Vicksburg might have come to evil. Two burning barges floated by here an hour since.
I have sent back to Milliken's Bend for 175 of our wagons, to follow me to Grand Gulf, but Grant orders me to so arrange that three days' rations last five days. We must caution all the men accordingly.
There are now six DIVISIONS of our men across and operating east of Grand Gulf. Let us catch up as quickly as possible consistent with bringing our men there in good fighting condition.
W. T. SHERMAN.
CAMP ON BIG BLACK, MISS., May 5, 1863.
Brigadier General M. M. CROCKER, Comdg. Seventh DIVISION:
GENERAL: You will immediately detail two regiments of infantry from Colonel Boomer's brigade and a section of artillery to proceed across Big Black, in the direction of Warrenton and Vicksburg, on a reconnaissance. The infantry will be preceded by a squadron of cavalry from Colonel Wright's (Missouri) cavalry, which has already gone down to cross the bridge. The commanding officer will be instructed to examine the roads, find out, if possible, the points toward which the enemy retreated, his designs,&c. The object being simply a reconnaissance, he must not allow himself to become seriously engaged. If the enemy are as far back from the river as has been reported by contrabands-some 8 miles-the infantry need not proceed more than 4 or 5 miles, select a good position, and await information from the cavalry. The expedition will return to-night.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. B. McPHERSON.
HANKINSON'S FERRY, May 5, 1863.
Major General STEPHEN A. HURLBUT, Comdg. SIXTEENTH Army Corps:
GENERAL: Send Lauman's DIVISION to Milliken's Bend, to be forwarded to this army with as little delay as practicable. Let them move by brigades as fast as transportation can be gotten. This DIVISION will bring with them all their camp and garrison equipage and transportation. I am ordering to you all the cavalry from Helena, except two regiments. You can further strengthen your southern line by bringing troops from the District of Columbus. The completion of the road from Grand Junction to Corinth will enable you to draw off all the troops north of that road. Make such disposition of the troops within your command as you deem advisable for the best protection of lines of communication. When the road to Corinth is completed, put in there as fast as possible sixty days' supply of provisions and forage. This order for Lauman's DIVISION is in addition to the four regiments ordered a few days since. You will have a large force of cavalry; use it as much as possible for attracting attention from this direction. Impress upon the cavalry the necessity of keeping out of people's house or taking what