to start on short notice, to perform certain service, concerning which the commander of the expedition, Colonel C. R. Woods, of the Seventy-sixth Ohio, will receive special instructions from the commanding general. The chief quartermaster, Lieutenant Colonel J. Condit Smith, will collect from among the wagons of the whole command about 50, to attend this expedition, to be ready by tomorrow.
II. The cavalry and a section of light artillery from General Ord's corps will also prepare for an expedition, to start tomorrow, the commander of which will prepare 5 empty wagons to attend him, and report in person to the commanding general for instructions.
By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
R. M. SAWYER,
NATCHEZ, MISS., July 14, 1863.
General B. H. GRIERSON, Comdg. Cavalry, &c.:
MY DEAR GENERAL: I have just written a hasty note to General Banks. We are in occupation of Natchez, and ought to have been here twenty-fourth hours sooner, whereby we should have saved a train of 300 wagons, with ordnance stores. As it is, we have captured some thousands of cattle, variously estimated from 3,000 to 8,000.
General Ransom is in command; one brigade, say 1,200 men, too small for this place.
The general is doing splendidly. If you could manage in any way to get a troop here, you would be doing very great service, almost inestimable service. I spoke of you and for you to General Grant; said all that you wanted me to say. I wish you could get up on some of the transports we send down with cattle, say the Imperial. She is a splendid boat. Put 100 on her anyhow. It is of the last importance that you should have a command here soon.
I have not written upon the subject of cavalry to General Banks. You must show him this letter, so that he will understand. Don't do anything to cripple his movements.
Respectfully and most truly, yours,
THOS. KILBY SMITH,
Colonel and Acting Aide-de-Camp.
MEMPHIS, TENN., July 14, 1863.
H. W. HALLECK:
Following just received from General Dodge:
I think Johnston must have fallen back from Pearl River. There is a big stampede. Every ferry on the Tombigbee is crowded with people, running their horses and negroes east. Many of the negroes are coming into our lines.
S. A. HURLBUT.
HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Memphis, Tenn., July 14, 1863-2. 30 p. m.
Major-General HALLECK, General-in-Chief:
Southern papers brought from Okolona say twenty-seven iron-clads and ships and forty-three transports attacked Charleston on the 10th.