On the way to Jackson, we encountered enemy entrenchments with sporadic artillery fire just outside the city. I quickly sent the 95th Ohio off to the East to grope for their flank. They found the entrenchments manned by only a few state troops and civilians. They quickly rolled up the flank and took prisoners. We marched unopposed through the rain and arrived in Jackson in the early afternoon.
Joe Johnston has retreated across the River. Grant fears that Johnston will join Pemberton to oppose us with a much larger force. Grant is with me and has ordered McClernand and Blair’s DIVISION of my corp to push troops in position to prevent a junction.
JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI, May 14, 1863
Major General John A. McClernand, Comdg. Thirteenth Army Corps:
Our troops carried this place about 3 o’clock this p. m. after a brisk fight of about three hours. The enemy retreated north toward Canton; Johnston in command. It is evidently the design of the enemy to get north of us, and cross the Black River and beat us into Vicksburg. We must not allow them to do this. Turn all your forces toward Bolton Station, and make all dispatch in getting there. Move troops by the most direct road from wherever they may be on the receipt of this order.
Sherman and McPherson will immediately retrace their steps, only detaining a force to destroy the railroads north and east.
U. S. GRANT
Now that we are in Jackson, Mcpherson, General Grant and I took a brief moment to celebrate in the Hotel. McPherson’s Corp is to leave immediately to march on Vicksburg. General Grant has ordered me to oversee the destruction of enemy property in Jackson. Jackson is a center for manufacture of equipment for the enemy. General Grant and I entered a factory making canvass for use in enemy tents. We halted production and sent the women workers home with as much cloth as they wished to carry. I will destroy the machinery and burn the factory. Destruction of the railroad bridges is the most important. I will burn all the cotton I find.