Somerwille being within my reach, but that does me no good when not subject to my orders. I should like very much to know where they are, and if there is no cavalry south of here, I would like very much to have some that I can use. What infantry regiments went to Somerville, and who commands the force?
Your obedient servant,
J. M. TUTTLE,
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Vicksburg, Miss., November 20, 1863.
Captain of Gun-boat Carondelet:
CAPTAIN: It is reported by parties living on the west side of the river that rebel cavalry, supposed to be a part of Wirt Adams' command, have been within the last two days crossing the Mississippi River from the east to the west bank, at Perkins' plantation. I do not place any reliance in the report, as the cavalry would have to come in on the north side of Big Black not far above its mouth, and pass up to J. Davis' plantation, which is nearly opposite Perkins'. There is, as I understand it, the cruising ground for your gun-boat. Although placing no faith in the report, I respectfully request that you will examine the river in that section and put an effective stop to any crossing.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. B. McPHERSON,
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Natchez, Miss., November 20, 1863.
Maj. General JAMES B. McPHERSON,
Commanding Seventeenth Army Corps:
GENERAL: There are no Confederate forces that I can hear of in the vicinity of Natchez, nor do I think that an attack upon Natchez is probable. The reports that bodies of troops were concentrating on opposite side of the river, near the mouth of Red River, are confirmed, and I understand that steamer Emerald was fired into on her trip downward, and that afterward Captain Ramsay, commanding gun-boat Choctaw, engaged their batteries for several hours. All this occurred the day before yesterday. I do not hear that any unusual depredations are being committed in Wilkinson County, and I now know of no good reason why I may not complete the movement of my division. I will, however, await a communication from you.
M. M. CROCKER,
WASHINGTON, November 21, 1863-4 p.m.
Brig. General O. B. WILLCOX,
As you are acting under special instructions of General Burnside, based upon a condition of affairs of which I am not well advised, it would not be proper for me to interfere with their execution. Give