Aug 31 1863. I wrote Gen. Halleck,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
Vicksburg, Miss., August 30, 1863.
General H. W. HALLECK,
Washington, D. C.:
I shall start this evening on a short trip to New Orleans, remaining there but a day or two. General Banks is not yet off, and I am desirous of seeing him before he starts to learn his plans and see how I may help him. The general is very anxious for more cavalry, but I have none whatever here at present. I am looking for the return o that sent north-to save, if they could, the rolling-stock near Grenada-daily, and also for 2,000 more, which Hurlbut says he can spare me. If they arrive in time I will send a portion to Banks, though I cannot well spare them.
S. D. Lee, who was one of the generals paroled here, is in command of all the cavalry in my front. I am somewhat at a loss to know by what means he has been released from the obligations of his parole, but suppose it must be all right. I have taken measures to ascertain if he has been exchanged.
I have heard nothing from the expedition which left Goodrich’s Landing yet; though they have been gone seven days, I feel no apprehension for their safety. The river is generally quiet, but one case of firing into steamers having been reported for several weeks; that occurred yesterday at Morganza, below here. No artillery was used. The party who fired was said to be headed by a prisoner who escaped from New Orleans. They are a party of robbers who fire on all paries alike, knowing no friends.
Signs of negro insurrection are beginning to exhibit themselves. Last week some armed negroes crossed the Yazoo in the neighborhood of Hayne’s Bluff, and went up into the Deer Creek country, where they murdered several white men. I cannot learn the full particulars of this occurrence. The negroes who committed this act, however, are not soldiers, but were probably some men from a negro camp occupying plantations near Haynes’ Bluff. It seems that some of the citizens in that country have attempted to intimidate the negroes by whipping, and (in a few instances) by shooting them. This probably was but a case of retribution.
The enemy seems to have withdrawn most if not all his force from my front, except his cavalry, and gone to the vicinity of Mobile. Movements in Banks’ department evidently indicate to them an early attack on that city.
The health of this command is as good as could be in camp in any part of the country. Sherman’s corps is in condition to move on the shortest notice. McPherson would be just as ready, but is scattered on different expeditions and in garrisoning this city and Natchez.
U. S. GRANT,
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 219-21
O.R., I, xxx, part 3, p 224-5