Wishing you all possible success, and feeling that you have all the prayers of our people, I have the honor to be, with sincere respect, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS.
HEADQUARTERS THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Fourteen-Mile Creek, May 12, 1863.
Major General U. S. GRANT, Comdg. Dept of the Tennessee:
GENERAL: After a sharp skirmish, in which a few of our men were wounded (number not yet ascertained), I seized the man crossing of Fourteen-Mile Creek.
General Hovey's DIVISION accomplished this result at
11 a. m. ---instant, and an outpost was immediately established on the opposite side of the creek.
I am now reconnoitering with the view to throw a DIVISION across and in advance, when the rest of my corps comes up. If this cannot be done without bringing on a general engagement, I will advise you, and ask further directions, believing that this course will meet with your approbation. The message I sent by your aide-de-camp relative to General Osterhaus' danger turns out to be without foundation. The messenger who brought it to me is repudiated by General Osterhaus. So all is well with him. I have heard from General Smith, who is some 3 miles distant.
JOHN A. McClernand.
FOURTEEN-MILE CREEK, MISS., May 12, 1863-11 a. m.
Major General John A. McClernand, Comdg. Thirteenth Army Corps:
Sherman has gained the crossing at this place, with a little skirmishing, with a loss of 6 or 8 men killed and wounded.
He will probably succeed in following out original intentions of going in advance of this place to the cross-roads. Gain the creek with your command, if possible, and hold it with at least one DIVISION thrown across. Reconnoiter the roads in advance, and also in this direction, so as to open communication with General Sherman and myself. If bridges are destroyed, make fords, if possible.
U. S. GRANT.
DILLON'S PLANTATION, MISS., May 12, 1863.
Major General John A. McClernand, comdg. Thirteenth Army Corps:
One DIVISION of General Sherman's corps is north or WEST of Turkey Creek. To-morrow he will move north and strike the railroad between Bolton and Edwards Station. McPherson is undoubtedly in Raymond, and has had, from the amount of firing heard, a hard fight. He will also move on to the railroad toward Bolton. Edwards Station is evidently the point on the railroad the enemy has most prepared for receiving us. I therefore want to keep up appearances of moving upon that place, but want to get possession of less guarded points first. You will, then, move to-morrow, to keep up this appearance, a short distance only from where you now are, with the tree advanced DIVISION, leaving