detaining them, on account of the great embarrassment it cause the Quartermaster's Department in supplying our Western armies.
In regard to your dispatches, it is very probable that many fail to reach here in time. It is exceedingly important that General Banks should be kept advised of everything that is done in your vicinity, and the only way he can get this information is through these headquarters.
You are too well advised of the anxiety of the Government for your success, and its disappointment at the delay, to render it necessary to you will do everything possible to open the Mississippi River.
In my opinion this is the most important operation of the war, and nothing must be neglected to insure success.
General [Charles S.] Hamilton's resignation has been received, but has not yet been acted on, the President and Secretary being absent. No doubt he resigns to get a higher command. This game sometimes succeeds, but it also sometimes fails.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. HALLECK,
MILLIKEN'S BEND, La., April 11, 1863-9 p. m.
VIA CAIRO, ILL., April 16.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, general-in-Chief:
The Yazoo expedition has reached the Mississippi. My forces in a few days will all be concentrated here. Grand Gulf is the point at which I expect to strike, and send an army corps to Port Hudson to co-operate with General Banks. Will reach the Mississippi at New Carthage, now in my possession, with wagon road and canal and bayous navigable for tugs and barges between here and there.
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
Milliken's Bend, La., April 12, 1863.
Colonel J. C. KELTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.:
COLONEL: Herewith I send you reports of Major-General Sherman, and the DIVISION and brigade commanders under him, of the late reconnaissance through Steele's Black Bayous and Deer Creek, made by them in conjunction with a portion of Admiral Porter's fleet, commanded by himself in person. *
The object of the expedition was to find a practicable passage to the Yazoo River without passing the enemy's batteries at Haynes' Bluff, to liberate our fleet and troops then held above Greenwood, and, if found sufficiently practicable, to enable me to land most of my forces east of the Yazoo, at some point from which Haynes' Bluff and Vicksburg could be reached by high land. The accompanying reports show the impracticability of the route.
This expedition, however, was not without its results. It carried our troops into the heart of the granary from which the Vicksburg forces are now being fed. It caused great alarm among the enemy, and led them to move a number of their guns from batteries on the river. The citizens fled from their plantations, and burned several thousand bales