The boats have arrived for our demonstration on Haynes Bluff. I sent the following to General Grant:
CAMP BEFORE Vicksburg, April 28, 1863
Major-General GRANT, Commanding Army in the Field, Carthage:
DEAR GENERAL: General Tuttle will finish the road tomorrow across the Walnut Bayou, along the new canal. My quartermaster, in cooperation with Colonel Bingham, chief quartermaster, will put on it a train of 100 wagons, collected from my regimental trains, which can be kept constantly hauling to Richmond. Another train of about 80 wagons, from Steele’s division, including my division and headquarters trains, will be put on the road from Milliken’s Bend to Richmond. I think you had better leave Colonel Bingham to control the movement of supplies from the river to Richmond, and leave your trains to haul them to Perkins’ plantation. Colonel Bingham can appoint a quartermaster at Richmond to load wagons arriving there, or to ship by barge from that place.
The trains from your end and those here should be equalized and meet at Richmond. I have ordered Steele, who commands at Milliken’s Bend, to place two regiments at Richmond, to guard that point, looking to the direction of the Tensas; also two regiments to be employed as a working party on the road from Milliken’s to Richmond. As soon as the cavalry arrives, I have ordered Steele to cause it to patrol the road between the Bend and the Tensas.
The Choctaw has arrived. We have heard some cannonading in the direction of Grand Gulf. I hope you are in possession of that place. Tomorrow I will take ten regiments and go up the Yazoo. I will feel Chickasaw Bayou, and the next day draw the fire of Haynes’ Bluff. I will land about Benson Blake’s, about where the Tuscumbia turned back when we reconnoitered there, and make such a demonstration as will force the enemy to reenforce heavily at that place, and to that extent draw from Big Black River. I will use troops that I know will trust us, and not be humbugged by a repulse. The men have sense, and will trust us.
As to the reports in newspapers, we must scorn them, else they will ruin us and our country. They are as much enemies to good government as the secesh, and between the two I like the secesh best, because they are a brave, open enemy, and not a set of sneaking, croaking scoundrels. I believe a diversion at Haynes’ Bluff is proper and right, and will make it, let whatever reports of repulse be made. The Choctaw is here, and you will hear from me commanding at Haynes’ Bluff tomorrow and the day after.
With great respect,
W. T. SHERMAN
I have left the following orders here for communication while I am away:
HEADQUARTERS Fifteenth ARMY CORPS, Camp before Vicksburg, April 28, 1863.
Major T. S. BOWERS, Adjutant, Headquarters General Grant:
DEAR MAJOR: I go up the Yazoo tomorrow to make a diversion in Grant’s favor. It is important that the general should know all that is transpiring here. Send him by courier the letter which comes with this, and, if anything comes for me, open the letters, show them to Steele or send them up the Yazoo, according to contents. I will be there three days, at least. In that time I hope to make the enemy move many troops, which otherwise would be moving against Grant at Grand Gulf.
W. T. SHERMAN