Saturday, May 16, 1863

Jackson, Mississippi

I received orders from General Grant to send a division immediately. The enemy is preparing to attack our force east of the Big Black River. Grant wants the division to come up on the rear of McPherson’s Corp by the north road through Clinton.

CLINTON, MISSISSIPPI, May 16, 1863 5:30 a.m.
Major General WILLIAM T. SHERMAN, Commanding Fifteenth Army Corps:

Start one of your DIVISIONS on the road at once, with their ammunition wagons, and direct the general commanding the DIVISION to move with all possible speed until he comes up with our rear beyond Bolton. It is important that the greatest celerity should be shown in carrying out this movement, as I have evidence that the entire force of the enemy was at Edwards Depot at 7 p.m. last night, and was still advancing. The fight may, therefore, be brought on at any moment. We should have every man in the field.

U. S. GRANT

I will start General Steele’s Division at daybreak.

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