general is proud of you. Your country honors you, and will remember you and your deeds with gratitude and exultation.
The enemy is still active, though defeated. Let us press him and crush him, till one nationality is ours, and one flag alone, the flag of our fathers, floats over American soil and protects American people.
JAS. B. McPHERSON,
BOLTON, MISS., May 15, 1863-4. 45 p. m.
Major General F. P. BLAIR:
GENERAL: I have the honor to communicate the following order from Major-General Grant to me:
GENERAL: Move your command early to-morrow toward Edwards Depot, marching so as to feel the force of the enemy, should you encounter him, and without bringing on an engagement, unless you feel entirely able to contend with him.
Communicate this order to Major-General Blair, who will move with you.
General, in explanation, I would say that I have been reconnoitering and skirmishing at intervals all day. Hovey's DIVISION is disposed on the right and next to the railroad; Osterhaus in the center, to which I will also move Carr as a reserve; and you on the left, to be co-operated with by Smith when he comes.
Circumstances, of course, may alter this plan. You may move your DIVISION at 5 o'clock in the morning from Raymond northwest about 1 1/2 miles to the forks of the road, and follow the Edwards Station road. Keep up communication with Osterhaus and Carr, on your right. The purpose is first to feel the enemy, and then engage him, if we find it can be done with success.
I will be near the center. Communicate with me often.
I have suggested to General Grant to move McPherson on the north side of the railroad, to cut off the escape of the enemy, if we should engage and beat him.
JOHN A. McClernand.
BOLTON, MISS., May 15, 1863.
Major General U. S. GRANT, Comdg. Dept. of the Tennessee:
GENERAL: Osterhaus seized Bolton this morning at 9 o'clock, taking several prisoners. Soon after, General Hovey arrived by the way of Clinton. Reports were rife that the enemy were moving in strong force upon me by the Edwards Station and Bolton road, and particularly by the Edwards Station and Raymond road. Rapidly disposing my scanty forces to meet him, I pushed forward reconnaissances in every direction toward Edwards Station and Brownsville. Skirmishing at intervals occurred throughout the day, and just before sunset the enemy undertook to feel my position and forced. He was promptly met and repelled. We are now resting on our arms. General Carr came up to Raymond this evening, and I moved him out a mile and a half to the road leading to Edwards Station, in supporting distance of Osterhaus, and to cover the main road to Edwards Station. I will move him in the morning by the middle road. Blair is at Raymond, and I will move him on the road now held by Carr. Smith is probably at or near Dillon's to-night. I will move him, if I can, in immediate co-operation with Blair, Hovey having the right, and resting his right near the railroad, Osterhaus and Carr center, and Blair and Smith the left.