War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0017 Chapter XXXVI. GENERAL REPORTS.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,

Before Vicksburg, MISS.,

February 6, 1863.

Colonel J. C. KELTON,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.:

COLONEL: Inclosed I send you a report of Lieutenant-Colonel Wilson,* of the prospects of effecting a safe passage into the Yazoo River by the way of Yazoo Pass. Admiral Porter will have this pass thoroughly explored by light-draught gunboats, upon which I am putting 600 riflemen from the army.

It is to be hoped that this expedition will be able to capture all the transports in the Yazoo and tributaries and destroy two gunboats said to be in course of construction. They will also attempt to ascend the Yalabusha to Grenada, and, if possible, destroy the railroad bridges.

The ram that ran the blockade on the 2nd instant has returned to the lower end of the peninsula, opposite Vicksburg. She went as far as Red River, and some miles up it, capturing and destroying three steam-boats loaded with commissary stores, and took about 60 prisoners. I send dispatches, every day or two, to be telegraphed from Memphis, but as I do not know that they get through, I think it necessary to notify you of the fact.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

BEFORE Vicksburg, MISS.,

February 9, 1863-Noon.

VIA MEMPHIS, TENN.,

February 12.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief:

The continuous rise in the river has kept the army busy to keep out of water, and much retarded work on the canal. I hope to be able to say something definite, in a day or so, of the practicability of the other route mentioned in previous dispatches.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General, Commanding.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington,

February 13, 1863.

Major-General GRANT,

Via Memphis, Tenn.:

Cannot dredge-boats be used with advantage on the canal? There are four lying idle at Louisville, belonging to Boston, Robinson & Co., canal contractors.

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

LAKE PROVIDENCE, La.,

Via Memphis, Tenn.,

February 15, 1863-12 p. m.

Major-General HALLECK,

General-in-Chief:

Steamboats through Yazoo Pass have gone to within 6 miles of Coldwater. Express no fear but that they will reach it and the Yazoo.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General, Commanding.

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*Wilson's reports, of February 2 and 4, transmitted with this communication. See Number 1, pp. 371,373.

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