Big Black at Hankinson's Ferry, and one battery, his DIVISION being under orders to march at 10 a. m. to-morrow.
JAS B. McPHERSON.
HANKINSON'S FERRY, May 6, 1863.
Major General STEPHEN A. HURLBUT, Comdg. SIXTEENTH Army Corps:
GENERAL: Telegraph to General Halleck direct the forces I have drawn from you, and, should re-enforcements be necessary to hold your district, let him know it.
Whilst headquarters are so distant, communicate direct with Washington in all important matters, but keep me advised at the same time of what is going on.
Everything here looks highly favorable at present. The only thing now delaying us is the ferriage of wagons and supplies across the river to Grand Gulf. We hold the bridge across Black River at this place, and have had troops within 7 miles of Warrenton. Also command the next crossing, some 15 miles higher up the river, from which another road leads direct to Vicksburg. Rations now are the only delay.
U. S. GRANT.
[May 6, 1863. -For Hurlbut to Rosecrans, in reference to Streight's raid, see Series I, vol. XXIII, Part I, pp. 283,284.]
HEADQUARTERS THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Rocky Springs, May 7, 1863.
Major General U. S. GRANT, Comdg. Dept. of the Tennessee:
GENERAL: My whole corps is up to, or beyond, this point. I rode forward early this morning to the front, and within a short distance of Hall's Ferry the enemy has planted a battery (probably of three guns) on the WEST bank of Big Black, for the purpose of commanding the ferry. My pickets are close upon the east side of the river. General Osterhaus has bivouacked one brigade of his command, with a section of artillery, on the far side of Big Sandy. The remainder of his command is on the near side of the same creek. General Carr has bivouacked his DIVISION to the right of General Osterhaus, and has placed his siege guns in position.
General Hovey is moving forward to take position to the left of General Osterhaus. General Smith in reserve on the Little Sandy, about 1 1/2 miles in the rear, and, besides holding himself in readiness to support the front, will hold and guard the approach of the Utica road.
I understand that General Sherman has seized seven transports, and thus longer delayed the wagons which I am relying on to bring adequate supplies of food and ammunition. The enemy is fortifying at Edward Station, and fugitive negroes report that he is rapidly concentrating re-enforcements at Edwards Station and WEST of there by rail. I think the enemy is in strong force. Is it not important that the Army of the Tennessee should be fully supplied and put in the best fighting order? The political consequence of the impending campaign will be momentous. I am still causing the country to be scoured.