I have heard nothing from the expedition which left Goodrich's Landing yet; though they have been gone seven days, I feel no apprehension for their safety. The river is generally quiet, but one case of firing into steamers having been reported for several weeks; that occurred yesterday at Morganza, below here. No artillery was used. The party who fired was said to be headed by a prisoner who escaped from New Orleans. They are a party of robbers who fire on all paries alike, knowing no friends.
Signs of negro insurrection are beginning to exhibit themselves. Last week some armed negroes crossed the Yazoo in the neighborhood of Hayne's Bluff, and went up into the Deer Creek country, where they murdered several white men. I cannot learn the full particulars of this occurrence. The negroes who committed this act, however, are not soldiers, but were probably some men from a negro camp occupying plantations near Haynes' Bluff. It seems that some of the citizens in that country have attempted to intimidate the negroes by whipping, and (in a few instances) by shooting them. This probably was but a case of retribution.
The enemy seems to have withdrawn most if not all his force from my front, except his cavalry, and gone to the vicinity of Mobile. Movements in Banks' department evidently indicate to them an early attack on that city.
The health of this command is as good as could be in camp in any part of the country. Sherman's corps is in condition to move on the shortest notice. McPherson would be just as ready, but is scattered on different expeditions and in garrisoning this city and Natchez.
U. S. GRANT,
HDQRS. FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Camp on Black River, August 30, 1863.
From and after September 1 the following disposition of the divisions of this corps is ordered:
1. The First Division will hold the position at the railroad bridge, with patrols, scouts, &c., visiting the country down as far as Hall's Ferry. Division drill, with infantry and artillery, on Tuesdays, subject to inspection by the commanding general, at 4 p.m.
2. The Second Division will guard the Black River at Amsterdam and Bridgeport, and otherwise act as a general reserve, keeping up easy communication with Bovina, Tiffin, and Wixon's. Division drill of artillery and infantry on Wednesdays, subject to general inspection, at 4 p.m.
3. The Third Division will guard the line of Bear Creek, with one brigade at Oak Ridge. Headquarters near Tribble's, and scouts scouring the country between the Yazoo and Black Rivers. Drills by brigades or division on Thursdays, subject to inspection without previous notice, at 4 p.m.
4. The Fourth Division will guard the Big Black from Bridgeport up to the mouth of Bear Creek. Headquarters near Messinger's. Division drills on Fridays, ready for inspection by the commanding general, at 4 p.m. The Fourth Brigade, Fourth Division, having only two regiments, is hereby broken up, on the 1st of September, and the following assignments made, to take effect as soon as that
15 R R-VOL XXX. PT III