NASHVILLE, TENN., March 27, 1864.
(Received 8 p. m.)
The general sees no necessity to re-enforce Columbus if Hicks beat off Forrest with 400 men. He wants General Veatch to cut off his retreat by landing at Savannah and going to Purdy and the Hatchie. I have telegraphed Veatch by way of Paducah. If you can get communication with him please do so, and notify him to this effect. The general also wants Grierson to follow Forrest and attack him at all hazards, and follow him as long as possible. If you can get this word to him please do so.
By order of Major-General Sherman:
R. M. SAWYER,
HEADQUARTERS POST AND DEFENSES,
Vicksburg, Miss., March 27, 1864 - 11.30 a. m.
Commanding at Big Black:
GENERAL: Have you any answer to the flag of truce? What is the cavalry at Hebron doing? I am informed that Lee and Ross are near Mechanicsburg. I fear they contemplate a raid on Haynes' Bluff or General Crocker's camp, most probably the former. I have sent Osband's cavalry out in that direction, to feel of them. Send what cavalry you can spare in the direction of Mechanicsburg, informing them of Osband's movements. Let them act in concert if they come together, and push the enemy sufficiently to develop their strength, and whip them if they can. General Crocker will please send a section of artillery with the cavalry if they have none. Let them start as soon as possible, informing me of their strength.
Big Black Bridge, March 27, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel J. H. PETERS,
Commanding Cavalry Forces, Seventeenth Army Corps:
COLONEL: I am directed by the general commanding to say that you will send what cavalry you can spare from your command in the direction of Mechanicsburg for the purpose of discovering the movements of the enemy, who are supposed to be moving for the purpose of an attack either upon Haynes' Bluff or General Crocker's camp, probably the former. Cavalry, under command of Colonel Osband, have been sent in the direction of Haynes' Bluff. You will act in concert with Colonel Osband's cavalry, and push the enemy sufficiently to develop their strength, and whip them if possible. You will report to General Crocker for the purpose of getting section of artillery to accompany your command. You will start as soon as possible, reporting your strength to these headquarters.
I am, colonel, your obedient servant,