HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CO
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Vicksburg, Miss., November 17, 1863.
Brig. Gen. J.P. HAWKINS,
Commanding at Goodrich's Landing:
GENERAL: Your telegrams and dispatches of the 16th instant have just come to hand. I cannot believe that any such force as you report is marching to attack you.
Colonel Ballinger, at Milliken's Bend, reports that Harrison with his cavalry is moving west, and that Lieut. Col. O. C. Risdon, of his regiment, is in the vicinity of Richmond and hears nothing of any force of the enemy moving against you.
General Crocker, in command at Natchez, reports, upon what he considers good authority, that Kirby Smith and Dick Taylor, with all their available force, are moving to a point opposite Tunica Bend, below the mouth of Red River. Nevertheless the enemy may be trying to deceive us in regard to their intentions, and we should be on the alert.
Goodrich's Landing and Milliken's Bend do not possess any particular strategic importance, but at the same time they are points which have been occupied to cover and protect the plantations along the river, and I do not desire to abandon them unless the emergency should be very great. If, however, anything like 16,000 men should be marching against you, it would be best to abandon the posts of Milliken's Bend and Goodrich's Landing temporarily, as I could not send men enough from here to meet such a force without stripping the post entirely.
Keep me advised by telegraph of everything important which you may hear. The three boats you mention as having stopped, together with the Era, which goes up immediately, will carry your command I presume. There is no gun-boat here, but there is one, I understand, at Milliken's Bend, and another in the vicinity of Lake Providence, besides the one at your place.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. B. McPHERSON,
SOURCE: United States War Department. THE WAR OF THE REBELLION: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1880-1901.
[Index Page] [Homepage]