Tuesday, June 30, 1863

Yesterday, Grant exploded another mine under the defenses of Vicksburg. Our soldiers are undermining the defenses very slowly.

Grant commands over 70,000 troops; About half are investing Vicksburg. The other half are under my command, guarding against a rescue attempt by Joe Johnston. My defenses at Haynes Bluff, guarding the Yazoo and our source of supplies from the Mississippi are very strong and well fortified. Johnston would need a large army to attack and carry our entrenchments there. I have entrenched artillery at strategic locations guarding the crossings of the Big Black River. So far, Johnston has sent some cavalry west of the River but has yet to cross with his infantry anywhere. I do not know where his main army is located.

Today I rode out to visit General Osterhaus. I sent the following message to General Grant:

BIG BLACK, June 30, 1863

General GRANT

I am at General Osterhaus’, on a visit. All quiet along the Big Black River. A cavalry force, under Colonel Bussey, went yesterday 15 miles up the ridge, and returned along Big Black River, down as far as mouth of Bear Creek. Saw nothing of interest. The cavalry of the enemy can be seen opposite Messinger’s, but quit immediately on a few rounds of Parrott shell. All the troops are now in position. Please telegraph me if anything new. I feel uneasy about the affairs about Washington. Have seen the Saint Louis papers of the 24th. Have you anything later?

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

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