War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0709 Chapter XXIX. ARKANSAS POST.

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mation of the operations both of our land and naval forces and of the enemy, particularly challenges my commendation and thanks.

To Colonel Parsons, assistant quartermaster and master of transports, I also offer my acknowledgments, not only for the successful discharge of arduous duty in his department, but for important services as volunteer aide in bearing orders in the face of danger on the field and to Major Williams, surgeon of the Second Illinois Light Artillery, I am also indebted for professional usefulness.

The maps and drawings herewith submitted will illustrate the disposition of the land forces, the position of the gunboats, the defenses of the enemy, the field of operations, and the surrounding country.

While mourning the loss of the dead and sympathizing with the bereavement of their kindred and friends and the suffering of the wounded, we should offer our heartfelt gratitude to Almighty God for the complete success vouchsafed to our arms in so just a cause.


Major-General, Commanding.

Lieutenant Colonel JOHN A. RAWLINS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Tennessee.


JANUARY -, 1863.

Reasons for the Arkansas River Expedition.

1st. The necessity of opening and securing communication by the Mississippi River between a point near Vicksburg and Memphis, which was obstructed near the mouth of the Arkansas by armed detachments sent from the Post of Arkansas.

2d. One of these detachments a few days before the attack on the Post had seized a Government transport, the Blue Wing, laden with valuable munitions on their way to General Sherman, which were much needed by this army, and which were turned against us in the engagement before the Post; and numerous other transports had been fired into.

3d. I had urged upon General Gorman, at Helena, on 28th of December, on my way down the river, either to reduce or invest the Post.

4th. After the Vicksburg expedition had been left unsupported by the retirement of General Grant's army from Oxford to Holly Springs, and particularly after the repulse of the expedition under General Sherman near Vicksburg, it would have been criminal to have renewed the attack upon that place, wholly without any kind of support or co-operation.

5th. The retirement of General Grant's army left Price's army at Grenada at liberty to re-enforce the garrison at Vicksburg, which was done to such an extent as to give the enemy, independently of his works, a large numerical superiority over us.

6th. General Banks had not been heard of, nor was it believed that he could reach Port Hudson and Vicksburg before I could return from this expedition.

7th. Had I not embarked on this expedition my forces must have been rusting in comparative idleness at Milliken's Bend up to this time.

8th. Vicksburg cannot be reduced by a front attack, unsupported by co-operation from the rear of the place, except by a very large land and naval force and after great delay. The golden moment for the reduction of Vicksburg was allowed to pass unimproved.