HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
Near Vicksburg, July 5, 1863.
Major General J. B. McPHERSON,
Commanding SEVENTEENTH Army Corps:
GENERAL: No enlistment of the negroes captured in Vicksburg will be allowed for the present. All the male negroes we want collected and organized into working parties for the purpose of policing the grounds around the city, unloading steamers, and fitting up the fortifications for our use.
In regard to rebel officers taking their servants with them is one of the conditions, I expressly refused them. After the city was surrendered, however, one of the officers on General Pemberton's staff asked me what I was going to do about servants who were anxious to accompany their masters, remarking that many of them had been raised with their servant, and it was like severing families to part them. I remarked that no compulsory measure would be used to hold negroes. I want the negroes all to understand that they are free men. If they are then anxious to go with their masters, I do not see the necessity of preventing it. Some going might benefit our cause by spreading dissatisfaction among the negroes at a distance by telling that the Yankees set them all free. It is not necessary that you should give yourself any trouble about negroes being enticed away from officers. Every one that loses a negro will insist that he has been enticed off, because otherwise his negro would not leave. As I said before, it was positively refused that the privilege of carrying off private servants should be granted, because I said afterward coercion would not be used to retain servants. It is no reason that the strength of the garrison should be used in preserving a neutrality between our men and the negroes that would enable the Confederate officers [to carry] away their negroes by force.
Forage cannot be issued, at least not more than for one day, to Pemberton's forces when they leave. A thousand horses, too, looks much more than they could reasonably take un capitulation.
U. S. GRANT
OSTERHAUS' HEADQUARTERS, July 5, 1863.
I have reports from all points from Hall's and Baldwin's Ferries to Messinger's Ford. There is not a single rebel anywhere, except a very small squad on the other side of Edwards Station. General Sherman's scout (Tuttle), just in from a trip up the river from Hankinson's Ferry to the bridge here, on the east side of the river, corroborates the above statement. He further reports that the whole train of General Breckinridge was ordered back to Jackson and the other side of Pearl River.
P. J. OSTERHAUS.
HDQRS. LEFT DIV. INVESTING FORCES, Vicksburg, July 5, 1863.
Captain J. A. GREER, Commanding Benton:
CAPTAIN: Having had from your ship since the first of our siege operations on the left of the investing line four of your heavy guns, under charge of Acting Master J. Frank Reed, I must, before their