CAMP near JACKSON, MISS., July 17, 1863.
Major General J. G. PARKE, Comdg. NINTH Army Corps:
GENERAL: The general commanding desires you to order one of your DIVISIONS to march north along Pearl River to Grant's Mills, to intercept the enemy's cavalry, now WEST of the river, and prevent them from crossing. From that point the commanding officer of the DIVISION will communicate forward with Colonel Woods, commanding officer of the DIVISION will communicate forward with Canton, advising him of the evacuation of Jackson and instructing him to do his work well and rapidly. The commanding officer of the DIVISION will also make his dispositions for crossing at the mills, but will not cross until he receives further orders. The general also desires you to keep on destroying the railroad from Jackson north.
By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
R. M. SAWYER,
HDQRS. NINTH A. C., near Jackson, MISS., July 17, 1863.
Comdg. First DIVISION, NINTH Corps:
GENERAL: I send you, by direction of the general commanding, a copy of instruction received this day from General Sherman. The same will serve to guide you on your expedition.
The object of it is to cut off, if possible, the rebel cavalry that crossed to this side of the Pearl and attacked us yesterday, and also to communicate with Colonel Woods, of Steele's corps, who is in the vicinity of Canton and marching this way. He will aid you in the enterprise.
You will not destroy the bridge at which the rebels cross until you are ready to leave. Indeed, General Sherman distinctly says if the bridge near Grant's Mills is destroyed you will collect materials to construct another, so that you can cross in case of necessity.
General Sherman further says that we will effectually destroy 10 miles of the railroad north of Jackson. You will, therefore, set one brigade of your command to tearing up this road in the vicinity of your camp, at the same time keeping a vigilant watch at the crossing of Pearl River that the enemy may not surprise you. As the main object is to prevent the enemy from crossing at the above-mentioned point, it is presumed that General Sherman would have you destroy the bridge should there be danger of its falling to the use of the enemy. You will please aid as much as possible, in addition to watching the enemy, to effectually destroy a portion of the 10 miles of railroad north of Jackson, that the work may be more speedily accomplished. General Smith has a brigade working from this end of the road northward, which you will probably meet.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
NEAR JACKSON, MISS., July 17, 1863.
Brigadier General T. WELSH,
Commanding First DIVISION, NINTH Army Corps:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch of 6 p. m. I have just sent dispatches to you containing instruc-