Yazoo River, North of Vicksburg
Yesterday, we exchanged fire with the enemy for several hours. My men disembarked, made a demonstration, and moved back on the boats at night. Today, we continue making our demonstration. I ordered General Blair as follows:
FLAG-SHIP BLACK HAWK, May 1, 1863
Major-General BLAIR, Commanding DIVISION:
DEAR GENERAL: Please keep one regiment on picket up about the burned houses, with orders to feel across north and east toward the bluff. Also one regiment below the flat, along the levee, which also leads back to the bluff. Also let one boat across to the other side of Yazoo, and feel along up the bank as far as water will permit. I think this party will be able to get a good look at the reach, at the head of which the heavy battery is. Instruct each officer to keep up the idea of our attacking as soon as we can find a road across. We will call in the pickets this evening and drop down, but to-day the firing of heavy ordnance will depend on the enemy. We will seem to be feeling for a disembarkation. Look out for those small Whitworth bolts from the hill abreast of us. In case of real danger of serious damage, order the boats to drop down out of danger.
W. T. SHERMAN
Just as our cannonading began, I received a message from Grant that he would land below Grand Gulf. He orders me to go to Perkin’s Plantation with two divisions and end our demonstration here. Our demonstration is having good effect. We stirred activity at Vicksburg and our demonstration has had good effect. I will keep up our demonstration until night and then have Blair return to Milliken’s Bend with his men. I sent orders for Tuttle’s and Steele’s divisions to march at once carrying as much supplies as each man could carry.