most rapid movement of troops by fours along them, and the equally rapid debouche of troops from three ends on the enemy's works, namely Thayer's, Lightburn's, and Giles A. Smith's.
The heads of trenches, for 60 feet, should be cut with gentle steps, so that troops can leave the trenches rapidly and in order. Such details must be used as will secure the completion of the works in three days, say by July 5. Preparations should also be made for crossing ditches; planks should be obtained and held in readiness, and sand-bags, solidly stuffed with cotton, tried, to see if they will not make, when thrown in ditches, a sufficiently solid roadway for infantry. The ground in rear of the enemy's works a should be carefully examined from different points, and all possible information in reference to it be obtained for the use of generals commanding DIVISIONS and the corps.
C. B. COMSTOCK,
Captain of Engineers.
CAMP ON BEAR CREEK, July 2, 1863.
DEAR GENERAL: I have been out all morning, and, on return, find your orderly with letter from Tuttle, the scout. General Grant telegraphed me in the night that the enemy had made his appearance at Hankinson's, and he believed he would make a diversion in that quarter. I understand General Grant is watching closely that direction, and in case of the appearances being alarming, he may move me in that direction. General McArthur reports the enemy preparing a battery on the bluff opposite Hooker's, looking to that passage also. We cannot prevent the passage of Big Black River, but must attack his column or columns [as] they make their appearance.
Keep Genera Grant advised of everything you see and hear, and send me word. Some rifle-pits on the hill at Bovina might be handy on some future occasion, and might be prepared now.
I am, with respect, your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN.
CORINTH, July 2, 1863.
Lieutenant-Colonel Rowett has returned. Biffle, with about 500 men, as at Lexington. He is collecting stock, mostly beef-cattle, for Bragg's army, and makes Lexington headquarters. His command is scattered, and we picked up several of his men. There is nothing but a company or two on east side of the Tennessee River. I have a letter from an officer in Bragg's army, dated Tullahoma, June 11, in which he says they are preparing for a move, and expect to be in the Tuscumbia Valley before long. He wants his folks to come and see him.
G. M. DODGE.
NEAR Vicksburg, July 3, 1863.
The enemy have asked armistice to arrange terms of capitulation. Will you please cease firing until notified, or hear our batteries open? I shall fire a national salute into the city at daylight if they do not surrender.
U. S. GRANT.