Siege of Jackson, Mississippi
Johnston has sent his cavalry on a raid West of the Pearl River into my rear. He may plan to attack our supply trains. General Grant and I will coordinate efforts to defend against attack. I have sent infantry to heavily guard the trains and see them into our lines near Jackson. I have General Tuttle replacing Osterhaus’ pickets on the lines and am sending General Osterhaus to Clinton to guard the trains.
General Grant is sending General Herron out to confront and cut off some of the cavalry routes to the North:
HEADQUARTERS,DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE, Vicksburg, MISSISSIPPI, July 15, 1863
Major-General HERRON, Commanding Yazoo Expedition:
GENERAL: The enemy’s cavalry, 4,000 strong, have crossed Pearl River, 14 miles above Jackson, evidently with the intention of getting to the rear of Sherman, to operate on his wagon trains. Whilst it is necessary for you to keep a force at Yazoo City, move eastward with all the force not necessary to leave back, so as to attract the attention of this cavalry. It will only be necessary for you to go eastward about 20 or 25 miles, on to a point east of Black River, where, if you hear of this cavalry, you can threaten them. The entire object of this move is to protect Sherman’s wagon train from the rebel cavalry. You will, therefore, be governed in your movements accordingly. You need not stay out to exceed four or five days.
U. S. GRANT
I have requested that my force at the Big Black Bridge accompany the supply train for additional protection against cavalry raids.
HEADQUARTERS EXPEDITIONARY ARMY,
Before Jackson, July 15, 1863
Colonel L. F. HUBBARD, Commanding Mower’s Brigadier, Black River Bridge:
COLONEL: A heavy force of the enemy’s cavalry has crossed Pearl River from the east to west, north of us. Be sure to see that the large train up is escorted by the brigade left for that purpose at Champion’s Hill, and that they are cautioned against this cavalry. I will send infantry to the north to cut off this cavalry.
W. T. SHERMAN
Genearl Grant is asking if I can get in the rear of Johnston’s Army and cut off his supplies and line of retreat. This is not possible. I cannot invest Jackson completely, protect my supply lines and move to Johnston’s rear. The Pearl is difficult to cross and a force that is too small would be vulnerable to attack. Grant also notified me that paroled prisoners are moving in my direction. I will have my troops turn them away.
Vicksburg, MISSISSIPPI, July 15, 1863
General WILLIAM T. SHERMAN:
Some paroled officers, who have afflicted families to take out, have just been to see me for permission to buy forage from us beyond Jackson, saying that we could have the place tomorrow or next day, and they might be compelled to go, by their private conveyances, the whole length of the southern road. may not Johnston’s sending his cavalry to this side of the river mean a retreat, and, by adopting this course, to cripple you? To prevent, Herron is ordered eastward toward Canton from Yazoo City, but I fear he will be too late to interrupt Johnston’s cavalry.
U. S. GRANT