respect for the President and Secretary, under whose express authority I claim the right to command the expedition, but in justice to myself as its author and actual promoter.
Your obedient servant,
JOHN A. McClernand,
February 3, 1863-1 p. m.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
One of the rams ran the blockade this morning. This is of vast importance, cutting off the enemy's communication with the WEST bank of the river. One steamboat, lying at Vicksburg, was run into, but not sunk. Work on the canal is progressing as rapidly as possible.
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
February 4, 1863.
Colonel J. C. KELTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington City:
COLONEL: HEREWITH I inclose you reports from Colonel Deitzler and Lieutenant-Colonel Duff, from Lake Providence, FIFTY-odd miles above here.
On examining the route of the present canal, I lost all faith in its ever leading to any practical results. The canal is at right angles with the thread of the current at both ends, and both ends are in an eddy, the lower coming out under bluffs completely commanding it. Warrenton, a few miles below, is capable of as strong defenses as Vicksburg, and the enemy, seeing us at work here, have turned their attention to that point. Our labors, however, have had the effect of making the enemy divide his forces and spread their big guns over great deal of territory. They are now fortified from Haynes' Bluff to Warrenton. Taking the views I did, I immediately on my arrival here commenced, or ordered, other routes prospected.
One of these is by the way of Yazoo Pass into Coldwater, the Tallahatchee, and Yazoo Rivers. This is conducted by Lieutenant-Colonel Wilson, from whom no reports is yet received. This route, if practicable, would enable us to get high ground above Haynes' Bluff, and would turn all the enemy's river batteries.
Another is by Lake Providence and the network of bayous connecting it with Red River. The accompanying reports show the feasibility of this route.
A THIRD is by the way of Willow and Roundaway Bayous, leaving the Mississippi at Milliken's Bend, and coming in at New Carthage. There is no question but that this route is much more practicable than the present undertaking, and would have been accomplished with much less labor if commenced before the water had got all over the country. The work on the present canal is being pushed. New inlet and outlet are being made, so that the water will be received where the current strikes the shore, and will be carried through in a current.
U. S. GRANT,