to us if accomplished, but with the small force taken by Sergeant Hall, every neighborhood could raise a force to follow them, and insure his capture. If captured they would certainly be hung, if not shot when taken.
The information given by McBirney does not look like an intention to attack Haynes' Bluff immediately, but a disposition to get and hold a footing on the ridge as near to it as possible, while they are collecting their forces for an attack. Their intention evidently is to come down suddenly when they do move, and for that reason they will endeavor to get a position as near us as possible.
It is not necessary for me to say to you that great vigilance should be shown by our cavalry. I have directed Hall to scout through the country from the Sunflower to Greenville. I want to discover if the enemy are collecting stores, apparently to be used on the Mississippi River, or if they are all to be east of the Yazoo.
They may possibly design their present movement to cover the crossing of troops to the WEST bank of the Yazoo. I hold here six brigades in readiness to move at a moment's notice, should an attack become inevitable.
If more artillery can be got to send you, I will send it, but troops will not be sent at present. They cannot be sent without changing lines here, or without taking the reserve brigades from one of the army corps.
U. S. GRANT.
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Near Vicksburg, MISS., June 15, 1863.
The following telegram from department headquarters is communicated for the information and guidance of commanders of DIVISIONS and brigades in the front:
Fire your artillery as little as possible until you received orders from here, it being desirable when there is artillery firing to have it all around the line, and continuous for certain periods of time.
By order of Major-General McPherson:
[WM. T. CLARK,]
NEAR Vicksburg, MISS., June 15, 1863.
Brigadier General E. S. DENNIS, Comdg. Dist. Northeast Louisiana:
My letter to you was not intended as an order, but simply advisory on my part, as to the points you should garrison.
In speaking of fortifying three points, Young's Point was not included. I merely spoke of that as a point that must be held for military purposes. There being always transient troops passing, and gunboats on both sides of the point, no troops are necessary there, expect as a guard for public property. The three points, then, to be fortified are from Milliken's Bend to Lake Providence.
It seems to me Lake Providence, Milliken's Bend, and an intermediate point, should be the places to fortify. You, however, as commander of the district, must exercise your own judgment as to where troops should be stationed and how used.
I repeat what was before given as instructions; public property must