to be sent you will all dispatch, so that I have little doubt you will receive full sanction and authority for anything you may do to accomplish the great end designed by General Halleck. At Oxford General Grant calculated that Smith's and Morgan's divisions, which were known to have passed Cairo for Memphis, were each about 7,000 strong, and also some eight new regiments had been reported as having passed for the same destination, and as I brought in from Oxford one of my divisions it was calculated I should get here 30,000 and 10,000 from Helena, so that he reported I would leave this point by the 18th with 40,000. Now, Morgan's and Smith's divisions were mere skeletons, and they absorbed the new regiments, so that embracing them they do not average 7,000 each, and instead of 30,000 here I do not count on over 20,000. The importance, therefore, of as large an accession from Helena as possible is counted on. General Robert Allen, chief quartermaster at saint Louis, is ordered to send here transportation for 30,000 men, and I have ordered our quartermaster to hold on to ten good steamboats here, so that I except ample transportation. A feeble demonstration on Vicksburg would do harm rather than good, and I beg you will endeavor to increase the force to about 10,000 infantry and artillery, and make the disposition of cavalry and a support at Delta such as General Grant asks for, as I know General Halleck will command it. You have now the dispatches by Grierson and have seen Captain McCoy. I will attend to all transportation and supplies, and would be obliged for all information, maps, and suggestions. Now is the appointed time for striking below, and all things should bend to it. Grant is ready and impatient, and the enemy is shaken by their being outwitted at the Tallahatchie. Before leaving Oxford I telegraphed to Quartermaster Allen, suggesting that all the chartered boats should come, half loaded with coal and half with forage and supplies. I except to receive from the same quarter plenty of axes, so that if pushed we can cut fuel, and also picks and shovels for approaches, should we be compelled to counter ratter the works at Vicksburg. I will be all ready to embark the 18th if the boats arrive. I expected Admiral Porter here to-day, but he is not come. I sent you by General Washburn an authenticated copy of General Halleck's dispatch, but Grierson's arrival supplied you with all data. Of course General Curtis must conform to the orders of the commanding general, but even without that I feel certain he will heartily co-operate in so desirable an object. As soon as his answer is received I will send it to you with all possible dispatch, and in the mean time I hope you will prepare the command for embarkation by the date fixed. I will have here four 6-gun batteries (6s) and James' rifled guns; also six 10-pounder Parrott guns and ten 20-pounder Parrotts. I have also sent to Cairo for four 30-pounder Parrotts. I understand you have a supply of light batteries, and I would ask that the force to be made up at Helena have a full supply of field guns.
Grant has about 45,000 men, and can hold his own and pass down in front while we operate in flank and on the rear. Independent of the designed attack on the works at Vicksburg and the Yazoo he naturally wants the cavalry to watch the country between Delta or Friar's Point and the Tallahatchie.
I should be placed to hear that you give to General Steele a command of the troops taken from your command. There is no objection to General Washburn making a simultaneous movement on Yazoo City and the fleet of boats. Hidman and Bragg are now too far off to go