Sunday, April 12, 1863

Camp Near Vicksburg

General Grant has in mind to cross the Mississippi south of Vicksburg and move on Port Hudson in cooperation with General Banks. To this end, General McClernand has built a road from here to New Carthage and moved his entire division there. After gunboats and transports run the Vicksburg batteries, his division will cross to the Mississippi side of the River.

The Eleventh Division under General Fred Steele, is North of here at Greenville taking provisions from the Deer Creek country. His mission is to weaken support for the Vicksburg garrison as much as possible and to distract the Vicksburg army from the movements to the south. All the corn and beef-cattle will be destroyed or brought off and the cotton brought in.

The planters in the area are being dispossessed of their slaves. General Grant wishes to encourage all negroes, particularly middle-aged males, to come within our lines. General L. Thomas is now here, with authority to make ample provision for the negro. These regiments will be used for garrison duty.

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