“Six steamers I hope will be ready to run the enemy’s batteries to-night”

Apr 20 1863.  More steamboats are making the run past the guns of Vicksburg.  This will allow Gen. McClernand to more rapidly ferry his troops across the Mississippi.  I wrote him,

MILLIKEN’S BEND, La., April 20, 1863.

Major General John A. McClernand, Comdg. Thirteenth Army Corps:

Six steamers I hope will be ready to run the enemy’s batteries to-night. The cotton and hay for barricading a greater number is not on hand at present. These boats are now loaded and loading with 600,000 rations and a very considerable quantity of forage.

Barges will enter the bayou to-day with the expectation of getting through to Carthage by Tuesday night. A large number of yawls, barges, and tugs must be here in a day or two. In addition to this, there are some twelve steamers here that will be able to run the bayous when the work of clearing them out is completed.

General McPherson will keep closed up on you, but recollect that all the transportation of his army corps, as well as your own, is now being used to get through your supplies. I think no more wagons should be taken through except for transportation of ordnance stores. The steamers that run the blockade have about 160,000 rations on board and some forage. More will be going to-night. Direct the teams to stop at Richmond, and establish of supplies there.



Having made the decision to land at Grand Gulf, we must concentrate our forces below Vicksburg so that we can move them across the river in a timely manner.  I issued Special Orders No. 110,

Milliken’s Bend, La., April 20, 1863.

The following orders are published for the information and guidance of the army in the field in the present movement to obtain a foothold on the east bank of the Mississippi River, from which Vicksburg can be approached by practicable roads:

1. The Thirteenth Army Corps, Major General John A. McClernand commanding, will constitute the right wing.

2. The Fifteenth Army Corps, major General W. T. Sherman commanding, will constitute the left wing.

3. The SEVENTEENTH Army Corps, Major General James B. McPherson commanding, will constitute the center.

4. The order of march to New Carthage will be from right to left.

5. Reserves will be formed by DIVISIONS from each army corps, or an entire army corps will be held as a reserve, as necessity may require. When the reserve is formed by DIVISIONS, each DIVISION will remain under the immediate command of its respective corps commanders, unless otherwise specially ordered for a particular emergency.

6. Troops will be required to bivouac until proper facilities can be afforded for the transportation of camp equipage .

7. In the present movement one tent will be allowed each company for the protection of rations from rain; one wall tent fore each regimental headquarters, one wall tent for each brigade headquarters, and ne wall tent for each DIVISION headquarters. Corps commanders, having the books and blanks of their respective commands to provide for, are authorized to take such tents as they absolutely necessary, but not to exacted the number allowed by General Orders, Number 160, Adjutant-General’s Office, series 1862.

8. All the teams of the three army corps, under the immediate charge of the quartermasters bearing them on their returns, will constitute a train for carrying supplies and ordnance and the authorized camp equipage of the army.

9. As fast as the Thirteenth Army Corps advances, the SEVENTEENTH Army Corps will take its place, and in its turn be followed in like manner by the Fifteenth Army Corps.

10. Two regiments from each army corps will be detailed by corps commanders to guard the line from Richmond to New Carthage.

11. General hospitals will be established by the medical director between Duckport and Milliken’s Bend. All sick disabled soldiers will be left in these hospitals. Surgeons in charge of hospital will report convalescents as fast as they become fit for duty. Each corps commander will detail an intelligent and good drill officer to remain behind and take charge of the convalescents of their respective corps. Officers so detailed organize the men under their charge into squads and companies without regard to the regiment they belong to, and, in the absence of convalescent commissioned officers to command them, will appoint non-commissioned officers or privates. The force so organized will constitute the guard of the line from Duckport to Milliken’s Bend. They will furnish all the guards and details required for general hospital, and, with the contrabands that may be about camp, will furnish all details for loading and unloading boats.

12. The movement of troops from Milliken’s Bend to New Carthage will be so conducted as to allow the transportation of then days’ supply of rations and half the allowance of ordnance required by previous orders.

13. Commanders are authorized and enjoined to collect all the beef-cattle, corn, and other supplies necessary for the army on the line of march, but wanton destruction of property, taking of articles, unless for military purposes, insulting citizens, going into and searching houses without proper orders from DIVISION commanders, are positively prohibited. All such irregularities must be summarily punished.

14. Brigadier General J. C. Sullivan is appointed to the command of all the forces detailed for the protection of the line from here to New Carthage. His particular attention is called to General Orders, Number 69, Adjutant-General’s Office, Washington, D. C., of date March 20, 1863.

* * * * *

By order of Major General U. S. Grant:


Assistant Adjutant-General.


The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 8, p 96

O.R., I, xxiv, part 3, p 212-4