I wrote the following letter to my Brother, Senator John Sherman:
TO JOHN SHERMAN
HEADQUARTERS, 15 Army Corps
Walnut Hills near Vicksburg, May 29,1863
My Dear Brother,
I received a few days since your most acceptable letter of May 7, which met me here. You will now have a fair understanding of the whole move thus far. The move by way of Grand Gulf, to Secure a foothold on these hills where-from to assail Vicksburg. This appeared to me too Risky at the time and General Grant is entitled to all the merit of its completion and execution. In our Route, we consumed the fruits of the Country, broke up the important Rail Road communications, whipped the enemy wherever encountered, and secured the Yazoo as a Base the object for which we have contended so long and so patiently. I do assert that none of the Great Armies of our Country has labored so hard, so Zealously & faithfully as this, and none less afflicted with the petty jealousies that disgrace us as a People.
We are all perfectly harmonious save McClernand and he is so envious and selfish that he cannot harmonize with any where he does not command. Blair and I are on the very best of terms, and had you heard the cheers of my old Division as I rode down among them on Black River you would have been satisfied that the Soldiers know the intense interest I take in them. Indeed I have never served under anybody or had any one serve under me faithfully that did not want to renew the relation.
We have Vicksburg closely invested and its fate is sealed unless the enemy raises a large force from Carolina & Tennessee and assails us from without. In that event we must catch them at the crossing of Black and fight them desperately. The place is very well fortified and is defended by 20,000 brave troops. We have assaulted at five distinct points two distinct times and failed to cross the parapet. Our loss was heavy and we are now approaching with pick and shovel. If we did not apprehend an attempt on our Rear we could wait patiently the Slow process of besiegers, but as this danger is great, we may try and assault again. In the mean-time we are daily pouring into the city a perfect stream of shot & shells, and our sharpshooters are close up and fire at any head that is rash enough to show itself above ground.
This campaign has been a great success. I would not have run the batteries at Vicksburg and attacked from the south as Grant did, but would have gone between Memphis and Vicksburg until we arrived here. Our army now occupies the ground that I arrived at last winter, draw on supplies from the very point I then Selected, and cross Chickasaw at my Battle Field. The correctness of every step I then took is now verified by actual possession. I pity Hooker & Mr. Lincoln. I fear that we are approaching that stage of Revolution when no man of principle will accept command under our Government. I suppose Halleck will have to take command of the Potomac Army.
Rosecrans has not made a move. I fear too he will go to Seed. In the meantime our army from Battle and the usual Casualties of war may fall below the strength necessary to accomplish what has been so well begun.
I implore you to use your influence to fill our current, depleted regiments with new recruits rather than forming new regiments. We have trained men to be experienced officers and it makes no sense to start the process anew with raw recruits.