more scarce, but as we get upon new soil they are more abundant, particularly in corn and cattle.
Bring Blair's two brigades up as soon as possible.
The advance will move to-day to about 3 miles beyond Cayuga, and also on the Utica road. Your DIVISION at Willow Springs should also move to this place.
U. S. GRANT.
CAMP AT HANKINSON'S FERRY, May 9, 1863.
Major-General BLAIR, comdg. SECOND DIVISION:
DEAR GENERAL: I rode forward 6 miles to day to Rocky Springs, and found all the army moving. Also General Grant, with whom I had a full conversation. He is satisfied that he will succeed in his plan, and, of course, we must do our full share. To-morrow we break the boat bridge across the Big Black at this point and move toward Jackson. I send you a copy of my orders of march, which I think are full enough, without further elaboration.
The first 5 miles out from Grand Gulf the road is up hill and rough, but it gradually improves. At 8 miles there is a fork, the right hand being the main road, which you are to follow. The left hand comes to this road, and from here to Rocky Springs there is an excellent road. At Rocky Springs the two roads meet, and in 2 miles cross Big Sandy. I will be at Big Sandy to-morrow night, the 10th. The next day I will be near the town of Auburn. McPherson's corps moves off to the right, via Utica, and McClernand's to the left, following the Telegraph road. By the time we reach Auburn, General Grant expects to discover in what manner the enemy intend to fight, and will then make new combinations accordingly. We have very little from Vicksburg. The enemy's pickets are out 4 miles north of this bridge, and apparently are watching to see if we intend to advance on this road.
When we march off, they may attempt to attack you in flank, but you must be prepared for any event; but I rather suppose they will have enough to do to oppose our head of column. They will hardly attack our flank without superior strength, and that they cannot have.
You will find, cattle, and sheep at the plantations. Protect houses and private families as much as possible, but use all the corn growing or gathered possible, and use freely of all meats found by the way. Forage regularly by brigade, according to orders.
I await your coming with intense anxiety, as I want your DIVISION always, with its batteries. I regret that Ewing's brigade had to be left, but I will come up as soon as relieved by four regiments from Memphis. I send an orderly with this, and a copy of Wilson's map, which is a little fuller than ours in the country south of Big Black. The orderly will stay with you, and can send him forward so as to overtake me at Auburn, where I want to learn your whereabouts and everything that you think I ought to know. Our men here are all healthy, and now make their marches regularly and without straggling. Please watch this, and don't let the wagons get encumbered with trash. We will be in want of salt, sugar, and coffee. We may safely trust to the country to the country for meat. Make your men carry plenty of all these in their haversacks, and, if they are loaded, make your marches accordingly. Roads are very dusty; middle of day hot, but morning and evenings cool.
Ho you in person, I am, your friend,
W. T. SHERMAN.