MEMPHIS, TENN., June 12, 1863.
Major-General OGLESBY, La Grange, Tenn.:
The whole disposable mounted force of the left wing will move on Sunday morning at daylight, crossing the Tallahatchie at or about Wyatt. From that point a force will be thrown rapidly to destroy the railroad and bridges south of Panola.
The main body will move on the south side of the Tallahatchie, and, as soon as rejoined by the expeditionary force, will sweep up to Panola, break up Chalmers, destroy his stores, capture the battery, if possible, and cross the river north. Take all horses, mules, and means of transportation; destroy or bring away all provisions and forage. Leave no horses there. If any horses or mules give out, shoot them, and supply from the country. Take three days' provisions. After that, live upon the country; make the work thorough and complete. Crush out these roving bands of guerrillas sharply and decidedly. I will move the cavalry from Memphis on Sunday to co-operate with you. Send your mounted infantry with the cavalry, and keep none except what are actually needed for guards. The road can be better protected at the Tallahatchie than elsewhere.
S. A. HURLBUT.
HEADQUARTERS THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Rear of Vicksburg, MISS., June 13, 1863.
Major General U. S. GRANT, Comdg. Department of the Tennessee:
SIR: By order of Major-General McClernand, I would respectfully present the following report of the examination of three Confederate deserters from Vicksburg, who gave themselves up to the pickets of General A. J. Smith, Tenth DIVISION, Thirteenth Army Corps:
We came out because we are starving. We get one-quarter pound of bacon, 9 ounces meal, made of ground peas and corn, sometimes a cupful of beans and a little sugar or molasses, as rations.
The men are all weak, and about one-fourth of them sic, mostly with diarrhea. Don't think we could march 5 miles in a day in regular marching order. We are, according to common report, from 15,000 to 20,000 strong, not over 20,000. Some are killed and wounded every day, but we cannot say how many. Minie balls do the most execution. The mortar-boat shells mostly fall between the town and the fortifications, where there are not many persons. The forts are considerably damaged by the Federal artillery, and have to be repaired every night after being fired upon.
There is a general complaint of the scarcity of all kinds of ammunition. We are often forbidden to fire, and ordered to cease, when firing.
All that I am acquainted with are getting very dissatisfied, officers now as well as men. Our only dependence is in General Johnston, and we are losing all faith in him. We think that Vicksburg can hold out two weeks, if the men don't get tired before that time.
We do not believe that many would be willing to try to cut their way out; it might be the half would try it, if ordered, but doubt it.
Rumor says you (Federals) have 100,000 men, but cannot be re-enforced, as Price has taken Helena. We think the main body of your men is at Black River.
More of the men would come over, but the Federal pickets fire too much for us. A great many are expecting that the place will be surrendered in a few days, and would prefer to be taken prisoners than to run the risk of deserting.
The town is pretty well used up, but the citizens stay in caves when you are shelling, and not many are killed.
We don't like General Pemberton at all, and think General Grant is too sharp for him. General [J. C.] Moore is very well liked.
We have had no reliefs in the trenches until the last few days, and now they are put on because the men are getting so weak.
Nothing further was elicited.
Very respectfully, yours,
J. B. GORSUCH,
Captain and Provost-Marshal, Thirteenth Army Corps.