orders and information; but in case of accident follow us to Grand Gulf, and farther, according to the news that meets you there.
Yesterday Grant was at Hankinson's Ferry, 18 miles out of Grand Gulf, on the south side of Big Black, the enemy facing him on the north bank. No fight since of the one near Port Gibson. The Fourth Iowa Cavalry has just reported to me. It will cross over and join Grant. The other regiment will remain under General Sullivan, or commanding officer at Milliken's Bend. I am deeply grieved at the loss of the tug with her precious cargo. We have picked up the barges, and will save some provisions, but none of the reporters "floated. " They were so deeply laden with weighty matter that they must have sunk. In the language of our Dutch captain, "What a pity for religion is this war!" but in our affliction we can console ourselves with the pious reflection that there are plenty more left of the same sort.
Don't hurry your march too much, for I feel certain it will take some days to pass over the troops now here, and the wagons. Try and arrive in good, compact order, and with as much provision and ammunition left as possible.
Grant reports plenty of meat and corn on the other side, but salt, coffee, sugar, and bread are out of the question save in our commissariat.
Knowing, as you must, the actual condition of things behind you, give orders or do all you can to expedite the new line proposed from my old headquarters to yours at Biggs', and so around to a point below Warrenton. I wan my chief quartermaster and commissary to join me by that route. You will be delighted with the country along Bayou Saint Joseph. On leaving Perkins', send a detachment of cavalry with a staff officer ahead to ascertain [what there is to take you across. If you] be delayed, camp back about Routh's place, which is magnificent, with plenty of corn-fodder and everything. The house and farm have been plundered sadly, but the planters had all gone off, and no one left to protect them.
I shall begin to look for you on the THIRD day from this, unless we move far inland. Grant is now 18 miles northeast of Grand Gulf.
I will keep in mind where you are, and await your junction with anxiety.
With great respect, your friend,
W. T. SHERMAN.
CAMP ON BIG BLACK, May 6, 1863.
Major General John A. LOGAN, Comdg. THIRD DIVISION:
GENERAL: You will move your DIVISION to Rocky Springs to-morrow at 10 a. m. Major Hickenlooper, of my staff, who has been over the road, will act as guide, and select the encampment. The men will march with three days' cooked rations in haversacks, and you will take in the wagons of your DIVISION all the ammunition and rations you possibly can.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS B. McPHERSON.
CAMP ON BIG BLACK, MISS., May 6, 1863.
Brigadier General M. M. CROCKER, comdg. Seventh DIVISION:
GENERAL: You will detail one brigade of your DIVISION to replace the brigade of General Logan's DIVISION guarding the bridge across the