sicknes. I am happy to state that the movements of the boats have exerted a salutary effect upon the health of the men.
Another reason that influenced me in creating a necessity to do something was the want of subsistence supplies. My fleet was reduced very low indeed for provisions, owing to the supplies sent for not having arrived. I am glad to say that I found them waiting us here. I find myself often limited in the extent and usefulness of my operations from the want of one stronger and better protected boat than any I now have in my fleet. I wish that you would see the honorable Secretary of War and set this matter before him, and if possible obtain his authority to build one strong, heavy iron-plated gunboat and ram for my command, so that I could at all times act efficiently and independently when the service required it, without being under the necessity of applying for co-operation, which when granted comes to slow that it is too late to be effective. A boat for my service must be fast as well as strong, and should not draw more than 7 feet of water-less, if possible. In my opinion the usefulness of such a boat, if properly applied to the service for which it is intended, would well justify the expense to the Government.
I would also suggest that the stern-wheel boats of my fleet, upon which the Government has not been put to much expense, could be employed to very great advantage as tow-boats and for transportation purposes or to carry the mails; being partially protected, they can pass points where boats entirely unprotected could not be expected to venture.
Your very obedient servant,
ALFRED W. ELLET,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Ram Fleet.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, August 1, 1862.
Ram Fleet, Vicksburg, Miss.:
You will employ such negroes as you require on your boats and send the others who are under your protection to Memphis, to be employed by General Sherman. Your prisoners can be sent to Memphis for trial, and a court-martial can be ordered there for their trial as soon as the witnesses can be spared.
H. W. HALLECK,
Memphis, Tenn., August 1, 1862.
General Morgan L. Smith will send an expedition for three days, composed of one regiment of infantry, a section of artillery, and the available men of the Fourth Illinois Cavalry, to Raleigh, on the Wolf River. The infantry will scout the country in the neighborhood of Raleigh, destroying or capturing all enemies in arms, and seizing all arms, ammunition, or contraband property found in unsafe hands. The cavalry will scout well forward and to the west, marching over the Randolph road. The cavalry should not operate on the main road, but by cross-roads and by-paths.
II. General Hurlbut will in like manner send ten regiments of infantry, one section of artillery, and the available force of the Fifth