which a copy was communicated to you, and of which the following are extracts:
The division now commanded by Brigadier General George W. Morgan and Brigadier General A. J. Smith will compose all of it (i. e., my corps) that will accompany you (i. e., myself) on the divisions of Brigadier General M. L. Smith will accompany you and be commanded directly by Major General W. T. Sherman, who will command the army corps, of which they are a part.
Major-General Hurlbut will have command of the Third Army Corps, &c. The instructions now with General Sheman provide for the garrison of Memphis, and forms part of the Second Army Corps.
This authority, in my judgment, not only justifies but requires the order made by me numbering the corps of my command First and Second as above mentioned. The order, I believe, also met with your approbation.
The order made by the Secretary of War numbering my corps (at present commanded by General Morgan) the Thirteenth and yours the Fifteenth never reached me until this morning, and that only through your courtesy. I learn that you had received it some three or four days since. I have not yet received one through any regular military channel.
It only remains, however, for me to number the corps conformably to the order of the Secretary of War, which will be immediately done.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN A. McCLERNAND.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Post Arkansas, January 14, 1863.
Major General WILLIAM T. SHERMAN:
Commanding Second Army Corps:
GENERAL: Your favor* containing various valuable suggestion is thankfully received.
The night after the reduction of the Post I addressed a communication to Rear-Admiral Porter respecting the practicability of ascending with our transports to Little Rock. His answer was not encouraging. I have since the battle closely watched the fluctuations of the river. If it had been practicable I would have been at or near Little Rock with my whole command by this time. It is still my purpose not only to ascend and reduce that place, but to march from there on the enemy at Brownsville if within a short time I should find that the stage of water will permit our transports to ascend and descend the river in safety. All turns on this vital point. It would be a disaster more than counterbalancing our victory here, and for which I could not bring defense, should all or even the larger and more valuable of our transports be locked up in river. In that event the commerce and business of the upper rivers would fail for want of means of transportation.
I heavy already written to Generals Curtis and Gorman informing them of our success here. Both of them will doubtless take advantage of it as a diversion in favor of the military movements now being executed under their orders. General Gorman is already taking advantage of it. His transports bearing his and troops convoyed by two gunboats passed up the White River yesterday. The Blue Wing, bearing the hostile garrison of Saint Charles, some 200 strong, was not far ahead of him. This information was brought to me last night by colonel Stewart, of my staff and chief of cavalry, who made a reconnaissance yesterday to the White River.