General Parke and the Ninth Corp have reached the Big Black River. General Ord starts today with the Thirteenth. He will go through Mississippi Springs where the water is considered medicinal. I am sending the Corps back by different routes to clean out the country between Jackson and the Big Black of any food or other material that may be of use to the enemy.
General Grant approved giving food to starving people of Jackson, but is against my idea of opening a trading post for them:
Vicksburg, MISSISSIPPI, July 21, 1863
General WILLIAM T. SHERMAN:
I am very much opposed to any trade whatever until the rebellion in this part of the country is entirely crushed out. Secretary Chase differs, however, and the special agent of the Treasury is now on the way here to arrange this matter. I received a letter to-day from the special agent and one from Chase, inclosing a copy of his letter to the agent. When he arrives, we will fix some plan by which citizens can get necessary supplies for such produce as they have. I want it arranged so that no citizen shall be allowed to come to trade. I would make no proposition about neutral territory.
U. S. GRANT