War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0449 Chapter XXXVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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their own agents, I believe, as far as Memphis. From that point they are distributed by agents detailed by me. Nearly the entire mail for the department must come to Memphis, whether distributed elsewhere or not, and, in my opinion, should be gotten to that point with as little delay as possible. The distribution at Cairo would necessarily involve some delay, at least for those letters and public documents intended for the commander of the District of WEST Tennessee, and would not hasten the delivery of one single letter within the department. I have, therefore, to request that no change be made in the present satisfactory postal arrangement.

Very truly, yours,



Near Vicksburg, June 29, 1863.

Major General WILLIAM T. SHERMAN, Comdg. Fifteenth Army Corps:

GENERAL: Your general order, blank number, is received. The dispositions you made are excellent. It will be impossible for Johnston to cross the Big Black River, north of the railroad, without being discovered and your troops ready for him. My only apprehensions are that Johnston, finding us so ready, may cover a movement south, and dash in at Baldwin's and south of that before troops can be got out to meet him. A move of this kind certainly could not be made for anything more than a diversion to relieve the Vicksburg garrison. It does not look to me as if Johnston would ever think of bringing his wagon train across Big Black River south of us. I had but little confidence in the blockading of the roads south of the Jackson road; something has been [done], however, and will help a little if Johnston should attempt to come in that way. Ord's cavalry watch all the ferries south of Baldwin's, and though they sometimes see rebel cavalry east of the river, yet they discover no signs of an attempt to cross.

I sent out a scout, who traveled for some time east from Big Black River bridge and south of the railroad. He says no troops have gone south of the railroatement is made by a deserter from one of the Texas brigades stationed at Bolton Station; but this information is several days old. In the mean time Johnston may have changed his plans and the position of his troops half a dozen times. You need not fear, general, my tender heart getting the better of me, so as to send the secession ladies to your front; on the contrary, I rather think it advisable to send out every living being from your lines, and arrest all persons found within who are not connected with the army.

Very truly, yours,



HDQRS. Fifteenth ARMY CORPS, Numbers 49.

Camp at Bear Creek, June 29, 1863.

The following modifications of existing orders are made and will be executed at once:

I. General Osterhaus will continue, as heretofore, to hold the fortified position on Black River, at the railroad bridge, with patrols and guards, watching the river below as far as Baldwin's, and up as far as Bridgeport; his reserves at Clear Creek, near Bovina.

II. General McArthur will occupy Tiffin in force, with guards toward