Numbers 1. is the order of the Secretary of War recognizing the Mississippi expedition and assigning me to the command of it. The President's indorsement thereon manifests the interest he feels in the expedition.
Numbers 2 is the copy of an order issued by the General-in-Chief to you, which I send lest the original has failed to reach you. This order, while giving to me the immediate command of the expedition, makes it a part of your general command.
Numbers 3 is an extract from an order, issued by the Secretary of War, relieving me from duty at Springfield, Ill., and instructing me to report to you for the purpose specified in Numbers 2.
Numbers 4 is an extract from a communication from the Secretary of War. I have the honor to ask your instructions in the premises, and that you will be kind enough to afford me every proper facility in reaching my command.
I found the reports that the Mississippi River between Cairo and this place was invested by guerrillas unfounded. At the expiration of twenty-four hours after leaving Cairo I reached here, without hinderance or interruption.
General Hurlbut informs me that General Sherman left Helena last Tuesday, and that a steamer coming up last night brings the report that the enemy have planted a battery at Bolivar, nearly opposite the mouth of the Arkansas River. With a gunboat and detachment from Helena I could test the truth of the report.
I regret that the expectation that I would find you here is disappointed. I have much that I would like to communicate to you. Much valuable information could be obtained by you at once here respecting the operations of your command, not only in General Davies' district, but on the Lower Mississippi. At this time access can be obtained without difficulty to all parts of your command from this place, at least above Bolivar.
I shall anxiously watch events upon the river until I hear from you.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN A. McCLERNAND,
[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
Ordered, That Major-General McClernand be, and he is, directed to proceed to the States of Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa to organize the troops remaining in those States and to be raised by volunteering or draft, and forward them with all dispatch to Memphis, Cairo, or such other points as may hereafter be designated by the General-in-Chief, to the end that when a sufficient force, not required by the operations of General Grant's command, shall be raised an expedition may be organized under General McClernand's command against Vicksburg and to clea the Mississippi River and open navigation to New Orleans.
OCTOBER 20, 1862.
This order, though marked, confidential, may be shown by General McClernand to Governors, and even others, when in his discretion he believes so doing to be indispensable to the progress of the expedition.
I add that I feel deep interest in the success of the expedition and desire it to be pushed forward with all possible dispatch consistently with the other parts of the military service.