“There is evidence of a force collecting near Big Black River, north-east of here about 30 miles”

Gen. Joseph Johnston is still north of Jackson with an army that is reputed to have 30,000 men.  We must maintain the siege of Vicksburg while protecting ourselves from any force that might be sent in relief of the city.  I wrote Gen. Halleck informing him I have asked for reinforcements.

NEAR Vicksburg, MISS., May 25, 1863.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief:

There is evidence of a force collecting near Big Black River, north-east of here about 30 miles. I have ordered all the force that can be spared from WEST Tennessee, and communicated with General Banks, asking him to come with all the force he can. I can manage the force in Vicksburg and an attacking force on the rear of 30,000, but may have more to contend against. Vicksburg will have to be reduced by regular siege. My effective force here is about 50,000, and can be increased 10,000 more from my own command.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General, Commanding.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 8, p 267

O.R., I, xxiv, p 39