cars in Vicksburg, and to bring out supplies to the bridge, as a depot for us during our movement of Johnston.
The enemy displayed quite a force at Messinger's this p. m., with a gun. Please feel forward with a small force as far as Amsterdam. I am perfectly willing the enemy should come as far this way as possible, as I fear the dust, heat, and drought quite as much as the enemy. The nearer he comes to our depot the better.
The importance of Vicksburg increases as examined. General Grant telegraphs 27,000 prisoners, 127 field guns, and 100 heavy barbette and siege guns. These are large figures for our country, and remind one of the old country. I will see General Ord before we actually cross Black River, and will mention you, as I believe you are comparative strangers. Have you any maps of the ground east of the Black? I sent my old ones off, supposing we were done with them. I have sent to Vicksburg for a supply, but would be glad to have any that you possess to copy from.
Truly, your friend,
W. T. SHERMAN. .
HDQRS. Fifteenth ARMY CORPS, Numbers 52.
Camp near Bear Creek, July 4, 1863.
The moment Vicksburg surrenders and the investing army is relieved from the trenches, by General Grant's orders a movement will be made inland, preliminary to which the following orders are made:
I. The Thirteenth Army Corps, General Ord, will move direct to the Big Black River Bridge, with an advance guard across, in the direction of Edwards Depot, and the main body on Clear Creek.
II. The Fifteenth Army Corps, General Sherman, will move by the Bridgeport road to Tiffin and take the road by Fox's to Messinger's Ford, and advance guard across to occupy the hill, and the main body along Big Black River and Fox's Creek.
III. The NINTH Army Corps, General Parke, to which the DIVISION of General W. S. Smith is temporarily attached, will move by the several roads available to the vicinity of Birdsong Ferry, with his advance guard across, and his main force on Bear Creek.
IV. The cavalry force, Colonel Bussey in command, will cross Black, near the mouth of Bear Creek, and receive special orders from the commanding general.
V. All commanders will see that their troops are well provided with five days' rations in their haversacks and regimental wagons; cartridges at the rate of one hundred and FIFTY per man; wagons not to exceed three to a regiment-one for ammunition, two for cooking utensils and provisions; and a couple of ambulances for the sick and wounded. Great attention must be paid to providing water, for which purpose each company should have a pack mule with a couple of small kegs, or a saddle, to which should be suspended the canteens of the men.
VI. All wagons not in use should be sent in, to make up a wagon-train of 200 wagons, under direction of the chief quartermaster, Colonel J. Condit Smith, and chief commissary to be loaded with bread, coffee, sugar, and salt, for equal distribution after the five days' supplies are out.
VII. All baggage, tents, and incumbrances of any kind must not be taken along. Any wagon, carriage, buggy, or horse other than such as are used by officers entitled by law to be mounted and as prescribed in these orders, will be seized by any brigade or DIVISION headquarters or surgeon, and appropriated to the public use.