your progress from time to time to me. As soon as you reach the railroad, send a strong party to the river to examine and report.
E. O. C. ORD,
HDQRS. NINTH CORPS, July 11, 1863-11 p. m.
Comdg. DIVISION, SIXTEENTH Army Corps:
The general commanding desires me to say that he will not retire from our present position at all, but continue to hold, it, ready to make any advance upon the enemy's works that may be ordered.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GERMANTOWN, July 11, 1863.
Major-General HURLBUT, Memphis:
General George and Colonel Blythe were at Coldwater Station last night with 900 men and from four to six pieces of artillery. The wife of General Chalmers, at Hernando, received a dispatch from her husband, at Panola, at 4 p. m. yesterday, that Major-General Johnston was attacked near Jackson by the Union forces, and was falling back; that General Chalmers had received no official notice of the surrender of Vicksburg, and had no orders to withdraw his force from Coldwater Station. No rebel force this side of Hernando. Small picket between there and Coldwater Station. Heard of [R. V.] Richardson's being near Galloway Switch yesterday with about 350 men, enforcing conscript law.
L. F. McCrillis,
Colonel, Commanding First Cavalry Brigade.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Port Hudson, July 12, 1863.
Major General U. S. GRANT,
Commanding Department of the Tennessee Vicksburg:
GENERAL: I have this evening the first intelligence from New Orleans for more than a week. The enemy, taking advantage of the preoccupation of my entire available force in the siege of this place, had, as you are aware, thrown a heavy force (probably 7,000 men, but estimated as high as 13,000) into the Lafourche country, had attacked Donaldsonville, meeting a severe repulse, and had planted batteries on the river some miles below Donaldsonville, so as effectually to interrupt our communication with the city. As soon as possible after the surrender, I sent the First and Fourth DIVISIONS down the river, to land at Donaldsonville. I have no official reports, but the steamer brings news that the enemy has spiked his heavy guns and fallen back from the river. It is certain that the steamers were unmolested. Before the movement, I requested Admiral Farragut to send all his light-draught gunboats around, by way of the Gulf, into Berwick Bay, to intercept the enemy's retreat by way of Bashear City, while my troops occupy and push him in front. My chief embarrassment is the great want of water transportation. The movement of the two DIVISIONS, without their bag-