surprised me, as your suggestion to send them had not yet been acted on. I was thus placed in a position where I could not carry out the President's wishes either by moving the Helena forces on Little Rock or down the Mississippi River. As I had neither ordered nor consented to the sending of these troops into the interior of Mississippi I was exceedingly annoyed at its being done at the very time when they were wanted elsewhere. On referring to my telegram of November 3 I find that its words are not fully expressive of my meaning.
The movements on the Western rivers are frequently determined on by the joint action of War and Navy Departments, and it sometimes happens that I can give no answer to the proposed plans of our generals in the West.
In regard to the proposed expedition down the Mississippi and its commander I can give you no reply. I have been informed that the President has selected a special commander, and that instructions have been or will be given to him by the War Department. If so they have not been communicated to me, and until I receive them I shall consider the officer of the highest rank as the commander, whoever he may be. Probably the whole matter will be decided on in a few days, but how I do not know.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. HALLECK,
SAINT LOUIS, MO., December 12, 1862.
Every possible effort is being made to get the full requirements of General Grant. The only trouble is coal, and if fail in a supply of this I am assured by steamboat captains that they can rely without fail upon wood, which they can chop and provide at a loss of not more than from two to four hours in the twenty-four. Still an extraordinary effort should be made to get coal down the Ohio, that it may follow up the enterprise. Can you not help my requisition, particularly Treasury notes, through the Treasury? If you have further instructions please let me know them without loss of time.
General Grant's requisition comes too late to be met within the time prescribed, but there will be no delay that can be possibly avoided.
HEADQUARTERS RIGHT WING, GRANT'S ARMY,
Memphis, December 12, 1862.
Commanding, Helena, Ark.:
SIR: I left Oxford three days since. General Grant had a telegraphic dispatch from General Halleck, a copy of which I have in my baggage (noy yet in), to the effect that the troops detached for the movement on Grenade were to be retained by him and used by him in the contemplated move in Vicksburg. General Grant estimated that force at 2,000 cavalry and 12,000 infantry. I sent Colonel Grierson with his regiment (the Sixth Illinois Cavalry) over to Helena by land from Oxford to carry to General Steele a letter addressed to him on this subject. I brought in with me from the Tallahatchie one division, 7,000 men, and