Walnut Hills, NEAR Vicksburg, MISSISSIPPI, May 26, 1863
We will move to clear out all enemy in our rear between the Black and the Yazoo River. McPherson and I will each send 3 brigades for this duty. General Blair will lead that mission. General Grant has ordered Osterhaus, guarding the Big Black River Bridge to bring in all the cotton. He is to let the cavalry destroy all the railroad bridges as far out as they go beyond the Black. All forage beyond Black River that can be reached will be destroyed. All negroes, teams, and cattle will be brought in, and everything done to prevent an army coming this way supplying itself brought in or destroyed.
To our front, it has been reported by several deserters that an attempt was to have been made last night by the enemy to cut their way out; that the signals were given, but the men failed to respond.
I have commanded the utmost vigilance be exercised by the troops along our front to prevent the enemy succeeding, should they contemplate a like attempt tonight.