May 31 1863. Gen. Lauman’s troops have captured a party of men attempting to carry supplies into Vicksburg. They also carried an encoded message. I passed it on to Washington in the hopes that they can break the code.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
Near Vicksburg, May 31, 1863.
Colonel J. C. KELTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.:
COLONEL: Eight men, with 200,000 percussion caps, were arrested whilst attempting to get through our lines into Vicksburg. The inclosed cipher was found upon them. Having no one with me who has the ingenuity to translate it, I send it to Washington, hoping that some one there may be able to make it out. Should the meaning of this cipher be made out, I request that a copy be sent to me.
U. S. GRANT,
JACKSON, May 25, 1863.
My X A F V. U S L X was V V U F L S J P by the B R C Y A [I] J 200,000 V E G T. S U A J. N E R P. Z I F M. It will be G F O E C S Z O [Q] D as they N T Y M N X. Bragg M J T P H I N Z G a Q R [K] C M K B S E. When it D Z G J X. I will Y O I G. A S. Q H Y. N I T W M do you Y T I A M the I I K M. V F V E Y. How and where is the J S Q M L G U G S F T V E. H B F Y is your R O E E L.
J. E. Johnston.
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 8, p 293
O.R., I, xxiv, part 1, p 39