HDQRS. Fifteenth ARMY CORPS, Numbers 39.
Walnut Hills, MISS., May 22, 1863.
I. General Blair will hold the present ground now occupied by Generals Ewing and Giles A. Smith, and will withdraw the other brigade to a position of easy support.
II. General Tuttle will dispose two of his brigades to support the batteries, and hold the other in reserve near the forks of the road.
III. Generals Ewing and Giles A. Smith will construct in their front a rifle-pit or breast-height of logs, and lay out a covered road to their rear, to be constructed as soon as tools can be procured.
IV. The artillery will hold its present position, and lose no time or effort in renewing the supplies of ammunition.
V. Each regiment will, under cover of night, move their dead and wounded; inter the former, and remove the latter to the hospitals.
By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
R. M. SAWYER,
WASHINGTON, May 22, 1863.
Major-General HURLBUT, Memphis, Tenn.:
We have news here in the Richmond newspapers of 20th and 21st, including a dispatch from General Joe Johnston himself, that on 15th or 16th-- a little confusion as to the day-- Grant beat Pemberton and [W. W.] Loring near Edwards Station, at the end of a nine hours' fight, driving Pemberton over the Big Black and cutting Loring off and driving him south to Crystal Springs, 25 miles below Jackson. Joe Johnston telegraphed all this, except about Loring, form his camp between Brownsville and Lexington, on the 18th. Another dispatch indicates that Grant was moving against Johnston on the 18th.
UNITED STATES Mississippi SQUADRON,
Above Vicksburg, May 23, 1863.
Major General U. S. GRANT, Comdg. Army of the Tennessee:
GENERAL: Yours of May 22 has been received. I am doing all with the mortars and gunboats that can be done.
I attacked all the batteries yesterday as high as the water batteries at hospital, but I found it impossible, with our slow vessels to get beyond that point, the current was so strong. We were perfect targets for the enemy. The Tuscumbia was soon disabled, and the other boats cut up between wind and water, and we had to haul out of action to repair damages. I fought the batteries one hour and a half longer than you asked me to do.
I do not think it possible to get the gunboats up to the point you speak of without sacrificing every vessel and man on board, but I am feeling my way along with the mortars, and drop them down a little every day. Depend that I am doing everything that can be done with my small means. I think we lost a fine chance yesterday on your left of going into the fort on that range of hills. Those hills, as I told you, had no one on them. I forward your letter to General McArthur.
Hope you will soon finish up this Vicksburg business, or these people may get relief. I wrote to General Hurlbut four days ago, telling him