considered essential, only a small amount was sent for issue to hospitals.
The above statement does not include the amount forwarded to-day, as the reports of the day have not yet been handed to me. There has been no delay in sending forward stores from this place, the commissaries working night and day when there were any to be loaded. There are now on hand at the place nearly 2,000,000 completed rations. Invoices have been received of a half million more rations en route.
On relieving Colonel Hawkins, I directed Colonel Haines to keep constantly on hand at this place 3,000,000 complete rations. This amount I expect to have in the course of a week.
I will use every exertion to keep your army supplied.
I have just seen your letter to Colonel Hillyer in relation to the parts of the ration you desire sent. These instructions will be strictly complied with. No more meat will be forwarded until a proportionate quantity of hard bread has been sent.
The new road across Young's Point will, I am informed, be placed in good condition in a day or two. There will then be no difficulty in supplying your army. The rations are here, and all that is required are the means of transportation to get them forward.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, and Chief Commissary of Subsistence.
HEADQUARTERS THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS, In the Field, Big Sandy, May 8, 1863-7 p. m.
Major General U. S. GRANT, Comdg. Dept. of the Tennessee:
GENERAL: Your dispatch of this date,* modifying previous instructions relative to the route of my contemplated march, is received.
You say you understand the Telegraph road, leading from the Jackson or Raymond road to Edwards Station, diverges a half mile beyond Cayuga. Is there not some mistake about this? I have with me an intelligent negro, who has been driving a team at intervals for fourteen years from Port Gibson to Edwards Station. He says the Telegraph road to Edwards Station diverges from the road leading from here to Raymond 7 miles beyond Cayuga, and about 2 miles beyond Auburn. The point of divergence is at Barrow's plantation. General Osterhaus has consulted a map found by him to-day, and is of the same opinion. This Telegraph road forms part of the main road leading from Port Gibson to Edwards Station.
Sixty wagons, laden with ammunition, are reported to have left Grand Gulf at 2 p. m. They should be here in the morning.
Herewith will be found a statement of the strength of the several DIVISIONS of the Thirteenth Army Corps, and the supply of provisions on hand. + Colonel Taggart is expecting to be able to supply the whole with three days' rations in the morning. If you wish me to move my corps before the expected supplies of ammunition and rations come up and are issued, please so advise me.
Three deserters crossed the Big Black this evening, near Hall's Ferry and came into my camp. They report the enemy to be concentrating between the bluffs on the east of Big Black and Bolton. Edwards Station is about the center of this line on the east side of the Big
*Not found, but see letter of 7th, p. 280.