ordering 200 wagons to load as before recited. Also send me plenty of the best maps Wilson has. I have left mine behind and must depend on Wilson.
W. T. SHERMAN.
JULY 3, 1863-p. M.
DEAR GENERAL: If Vicksburg is going to surrender to-night, what does that firing mean?
I have ordered troops to secure the three crossing places-Jones' Ford, below Birdsong, Messinger's, where I propose to build a good bridge by means of the log houses and materials of Messinger's plantation, and at the railroad crossing, where a good bridge now exists. If Vicksburg surrenders, I want two corps to cross the bridge, mine at Messinger's, your artillery and wagons also, and your cavalry and infantry at Jones', thus giving three roads, all of which converge at a point not far beyond Big Black River, near Jeff. Davis' plantation. Make all preparations, for we will have to move light and rapid to interpose between Johnston's scattered forces.
Each regiment should carry five days' rations and ammunition and a train carry bread, salt, sugar, and coffee for ten more, depending on the country for forage and beef. But I don't understand the heavy firing. Inquire by telegraph and let me know.
W. T. SHERMAN.
OAK RIDGE, July 3, 1863.
General Sherman desires me to ask what means the heavy firing at Vicksburg.
JNO. G. PARKE.
NEAR Vicksburg, July 3, 1863.
Flag of truce only covered bearer of dispatches; firing was continued by balance of the line.
U. S. GRANT.
HEADQUARTERS Fifteenth ARMY CORPS,
Camp near Bear Creek, July 3, 1863.
Major-General PARKE, Comdg. NINTH Army Corps:
DEAR GENERAL: I have received your note and Grant's dispatch, which in a measure explains the strange firing after the news of the proposition to surrender.
I ask for the move, Ord's corps (Thirteenth), mine (Fifteenth), and yours (NINTH); to yours I would attach General [W. S.] Smith's DIVISION. The cavalry I would hold for general service. I wish you to be prepared with five days' rations for yourself and Smith, including every man fit for duty, and embracing those left at Milldale. I would then order a general supply train of 200 wagons, with hard and small rations, to follow in two trains of 100 each. As soon as Johnston is encountered and disposed of, I would send back to Vicksburg, to be used at Port Hudson or elsewhere, a part of my force, and push on to