HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CO
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Vicksburg, Miss., March 17, 1864.
Col. A. W. WEBBER,
First Mississippi Infantry, A.D., in command of Forces
assigned to the protection of Goodrich's Landing:
COLONEL: The following instructions are issued for your guidance in the disposition of the troops of your command in the occupation of the country designed to be protected from the inroads of the enemy: First. You will proceed with your own regiment, the Fourth Mississippi, and Second Louisiana Battery (four guns), to Milliken's Bend, where you will disembark five companies, under command of a competent field officer. Second. Thence you will proceed to Goodrich's Landing, disembark the remainder of your command, and send a strong reconnoitering force out to Bayou Macon to discover if there be any enemy in the vicinity. Third. You will also send a force of at least a regiment up to Lake Providence to reconnoiter the country in that region, with instructions to throw up intrenchments to be occupied by five companies, which you will leave there under a competent field officer. Fourth. While you will afford protection as far as possible to the plantation interests, all your operations will be conducted and dispositions of your forces made with a view to a strictly military occupation of the country. You will see that your troops are not permitted to straggle or small parties placed in positions where they can be successfully attacked by the raids of guerrillas or any scouting force of the enemy.
At the earliest practicable moment you will make a detailed report to these headquarters, showing the results of your reconnoitering parties and disposition of your troops.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. B. McPHERSON,