War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0693 Chapter XXVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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trust I shall hear from you as to your position and movements, and especially as to your views of the most efficient mode of co-operation upon the part of the forces we respectively command.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.


(Received by General Grant March 20, 1863.)

Major General U. S. GRANT,

Commanding U. S. Forces, Vicksburg:

SIR: I herewith transmit to you, by the hand of my secretary, a dispatch from Major General N. P. Banks. It was sent up to me the evening I was to pass the batteries at Port Hudson.

Having learned that the enemy had the Red River trade open to Vicksburg and Port Hudson, and that two of the gunboats of the upper fleet had been captured, I determined to pass up, and, if possible, recapture the boats and stop the Red River trade, and this I can do most effectually if I can obtain form Rear-Admiral Porter or yourself coal for my vessels. By my trip up the river I have become perfectly acquainted with the enemy's forces on the banks and his boats in the adjacent waters. I shall be most happy to avail myself of the earliest moment to have a consultation with yourself and Rear-Admiral Porter as to the assistance I can render you at this place; and, if none, then I will return to the mouth of Red River and carry out my original design.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,




New Orleans, March 27, 1863.


DEAR SIR: In your interview with the officers of the Government at Washington it is important that the true condition of affairs in this department in several important relations should be fully stated. In regard to-

1st. Water transportation. It should be stated in such a manner as to make the fact appreciated as the basis of all military speculations that in Louisiana the bayous, lakes, &c., stand in the place of roads in other parts of the country, and that a force that moves in any direction by land can be attacked by the enemy on his water communications. It is indispensable that we should have ample water transports for supplies and gunboats for attack or defense in any expedition that may be undertaken. When I came here I was assured by the Government that there was an abundance of transportation of this character. You can well state from your own knowledge how entirely inadequate it is to the public service. The expenses of the department would be greatly diminished if a sufficient number of light-draught steamers could be obtained without the necessity of impressing private vessels or those