War of the Rebellion: Serial 025 Page 0401 Chapter XXIX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.- UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS,

Springfield, Ill., December 12, 1862.

His Excellency ABRAHAM LINCOLN:

Since my return here on the 25th October last, of orders to assist the Governors of Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa in mustering and forwarding troops, I have forwarded to the rendezvous of the Mississippi expedition forty-nine regiments of infantry and two batteries, containing upward of 40,000 men. There are still a few infantry regiments and batteries nearly ready to march and a few others recruiting.

The work remaining to be done in those States may be satisfactorily performed by the mustering officers of the U. S. Army in those States, or by a member of my staff, and is not of importance enough in my judgment to detain me from the more advanced organization of the expedition and its movement upon Vicksburg. May I not ask therefore to be sent forward immediately?

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. McCLERNAND,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS,

Springfield, Ill., December 12, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

In the recent victory achieved by our arms at Praire Grove, Ark., is as deceive as reported, why may not a considerable portion of our forces in that quarter, including also a potion of those south of Pilot Knob and Rolla in Missouri, be assigned to the Mississippi expedition or to some other field of service? I only ask the question suggestively.

I am anxiously awaiting your order sending me forward for duty in connection with the Mississippi expedition.*

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. McCLERNAND,

Major-General.

WASHINGTON, December 12, 1862.

Major General SAMUEL R. CURTIS, Saint Louis:

GENERAL: Your communication of the 4th, in regard to the Grenada expedition, is received and the explanations satisfactory.

In the numerous telegram and dispatches sent from office daily some errors will necessarily occur. The language of my telegram of November 3 is perhaps a little ambiguous, but was not intended to authorize the sending of troops from Helena to Grenada. The first object of sending troops to Saint Helena was stated to be the capture of Little Rock, which has been continuously urged on me for the last six months. If that could not be done then they would be used to-operate with Grant's intended movement on Grenada. This was the idea intended to be conveyed. It was by no mean intended that they should be sent to Grenada. The President had directed that all available troops on the Mississippi be sent to another place. I consequently ordered General Grant not to move on Grenada, but was informed by him that Steele had already moved from Helena on Grenada, and if he (Grant) did not co-operate Steele's forces might be cut off. This very much

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* See p. 413.

26 R R - VOL XVII, PT II

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