I am informed that a body of rebel troops are now trying to get in north of General Curtis; also learn that Bragg is occupying the line from Vicksburg to Jackson, Tenn., intending to make that their line. This seems to have come from a rebel soldier, writing to his friends here. I give it as received for what it is worth.
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Saint Louis, June 25, 1862.
General CURTIS, Batesville, Ark.:
Transports ascended White River 170 miles and could get no higher. Hearing nothing of you, fell back to Saint Charles, 90 miles from mouth. General Halleck directs me to give you this notice, and see if you cannot communicate with the boats. They are loaded with commissary stores.
W. SCOTT KETCHUM,
Brigadier-General, Assistant Inspector-General.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
Memphis, June 26, 1862.
SIR: I send five steamers loaded with supplies for General Curtis' army. As they necessarily pass through a hostile country, great caution will have to be exercised to prevent these supplies from falling into the hands of the enemy or from being destroyed.
I have selected you as commander of the expedition, and re-enforce you with two additional regiments, as you will perceive from special orders accompanying this.
It would be impossible to give full special instructions for the management of this expedition. Much must necessarily be left to the discretion of the officer in command. I would suggest, however, that two pieces of artillery be placed on the bow of the boat intended to lead; that all of them be kept well together; when you tie up for the night strong guards be thrown out upon the shore, and that troops be landed and required to march and clear out all points suspected of concealing a foe.
It is desirable these supplies should reach General Curtis as early as possible. As soon as the boats can possibly be discharged return them, bringing your entire command to Saint Charles or to where you now are.
It is not intended that you shall reach General Curtis against all obstacles, but it is highly desirable that he should be reached.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT,
Colonel G. N. FITCH, Commanding Expedition on White River.
MEMPHIS, July 3, 1862.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, Corinth, Miss.:
So well satisfied am I form information received (and which I telegraph herewith), that I deem it my duty, in the absence of instructions,