II. The returns and reports required by existing orders will be made directs to these headquarters by the commanders of divisions, and the Districts of Corinth, Jackson, Columbus, and Memphis.
C. S. HAMILTON,
MEMPHIS, TENN., January 17, 1863-4.30 p. m.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief:
I start immediately to the fleet. My designed is to get such information from these them as i find impossible to get here. I will return here in a few days, and in the mean time re-enforcements will be forwarded with all dispatch.
U. S. GRANT,
NAPOLEON, January 17, 1863.
Rear-Admiral DAVID D. PORTER, Commanding, &c.:
ADMIRAL: The fleet is ordered to leave this point at 12 o'clock m. to-morrow and proceed directly to Miliken's Bend. Will you please advise me what disposition you think proper to make of your squadron in convoy of the transports?
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN A. McCLERNAND,
P. S.-JANUARY 18, 1863-11 A. M.-Not having been able to ascertain the position of your boat till this morning the above was not sent to you. The order for leaving is suspended until I know your pleasure relative to furnishing a convoy, for which we are waiting.
HEADQUARTERS FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
On board Forest Queen, Napoleon, Ark. January 17, 1863.
Major General U. S. GRANT,
Commanding Department of Tennessee:
DEAR GENERAL: I take a liberty of writing you direct semi-officially. Official reports will convey to you a pretty clear idea of our success at the Post Arkansas.
I infer from a remark made by General McClearned that you have disapproved the step. If I could believe that Banks had reduced Port Hudson and appeared at Vicksburg during our absence I would feel the force of your disapproval, but I feel so assured that we will again be at Vicksburg before Banks is there that I cannot think any bad result of this kind can occur. As long as the Post of Arkansas existed on our flank, with boats to ship cannon and men to the month of the Arkansas, we would be annoyed beyond measure whilst operating below. The capture of the Blue Wing was a mere sample. We were compelled to reduced it. Its importance to the enemy cannot be doubted by one who has seen their preparations and heard the assertions of its garrison that it was deemed impregnable. The fort proper was constructed with great care and its armament as good as it could be made. The Post of Ark