The Expedition to defeat the Confederate forces under Joe Johnston continues. The weather is hot and dusty and the troops are much afflicted by lack of water. We have met skirmishers the entire time. Johnston is defending the Capital city of Jackson, Mississippi.
HEADQUARTERS EXPEDITIONARY ARMY, Numbers 55.
Clinton, MISSISSIPPI, July 9, 1863
The movement tomorrow will be as follows:
I. The Fifteenth Army Corps, General Steele commanding, will move on the main Jackson road, pressing the enemy’s skirmishers of infantry and cavalry, until it draws the fire of artillery, when it will make the proper disposition for battle. General Steele will so arrange as to have his 20-pounder Parrotts near the front. He will act according to circumstances and his own judgment, having reference to the troops to his right and left.
II. General Ord, commanding Thirteenth Army Corps, will detach two of his DIVISIONS by a crossroad to the Raymond road; thence toward Jackson, until they draw the enemy’s artillery fire, in which case they will threaten to turn the enemy’s left flank, and carry it, in case they hear the rest of the army engaged. The remainder of the corps will be held in reserve, following the movements of General Steele, and looking to the protection of the wagon trains.
III. General Parke, commanding the NINTH Army Corps, will move on the most practicable route north of, and parallel to, General Steele, endeavoring to reach the Canton road, keeping up communication with General Steele, and acting in concert with him.
IV. Should the enemy offer battle in the open field, each corps will attack the moment its commander is satisfied that the other corps are in position. Should the enemy offer battle behind intrenchments, the troops will be placed as much as possible under cover from the enemy’s artillery fire, and there await the instructions of the commanding general. Should the town be evacuated, General Steele will push one DIVISION of his corps into the city, securing all captured property, and occupying in force the point where the bridge crosses Pearl River. In this event all other troops will be kept well in hand and await the orders of the commanding general.
V. The wagon trains should not approach nearer than within 5 miles of Jackson, and, in case of battle, should be parked off the roads by DIVISION or corps trains.
VI. General Steele will move at 6 a. m., and the other corps will be put in motion so as to reach Jackson about the same time with General Steele.
VII. The cavalry, under Colonel Bussey, will act with General Parke against the right flank of the enemy, reporting to General Parke for orders.
By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
R. M. SAWYER, Assistant Adjutant-General
By the end of the day we had marched through Clinton and approaching close to Jackson.