Camp Near Vicksburg
My orders to march today are countermanded. We need to improve our supply road before I head south.
HEADQUARTERS Fifteenth ARMY CORPS, Camp before Vicksburg, April 27, 1863
Brigadier General J. M. TUTTLE, Comdg. THIRD DIVISION:
DEAR GENERAL: Since you left me this afternoon, I am in receipt of a letter from General Grant, which develops some of the difficulties I apprehended. He orders me to remain here till further orders, and wants me to construct to facilitate transportation. The swamp back of me has 4 feet of water; I have navigated with large yawls. The only chance for a road is along your canal, on the lower or south bank, by leveling down the mud levee, bridging the bayou at the first woods, and a good deal of work. Beyond you can reach Willow Bayou, along whose bank is a road to Richmond. You will, therefore, put a heavy detail on this road, and push it to completion as fast as possible, as I see plainly that General Grant’s army and Admiral Porter’s fleet will be caught unprovided unless every possible means be adopted to relieve their wants. We may have to plank this road in places, but let us first make it passable to troops, and then plank it or not, according to the weather. Such a rod will enable us to haul stores back to the bayou, when to Richmond barges could float them, and then to Carthage, a large class of boats.
I am, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN