War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0072 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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clear, steamboats having formerly ascended to that place. None of Quinby's forces have yet been heard of here, though the rebel newspaper, the Appeal, says they withdrew up the Coldwater on Thursday last. There are no indications of any attempt on the part of the rebels to cut them off. Quinby will come directly here and not debark at Lake Providence, where McPherson and the rest of the SEVENTEENTH Army Corps are. I learn that when Admiral Porter was entrapped by the rebels at Deer Creek week before last, his situation was so desperate that when Sherman's forces arrived to relieve him, they found he had already smeared his gunboats with turpentine preparatory to abandoning them and setting them afire.

Weather continues cool here. Neither mosquitoes nor gnats have yet troubled men or animals.


Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

MILLIKEN'S BEND, April 10, 1863,


Everything goes forward encouragingly. The canal will be ready for trial in two or three days, as soon as the water is let in, which it is deemed advisable to postpone for fear the overflow may destroy the road hence to Richmond and Carthage before the remaining troops of McClernand's corps have marched over it. The preparations for running the batteries by the gunboats and transports are also nearly completed, and that enterprise will soon be accomplished. Probably five or six gunboats, including the rest of the squadron, led by Admiral Porter himself, will go down within two days, as the nights are dark and promise to be cloudy. The actual length of the canal and bayou navigation proves to be 37 miles, and Captain F. eturned last night from exploring the whole passage, reports that there will be no difficulty in making it practicable throughout, if necessary, by cutting the levee near the head of the bayou and flooding the whole country. A depth of 15 feet of water can be gotten throughout the entire passage. But perhaps the best evidence of the possibility of the project is found in the fact that the river men who have seen it pronounce its success certain. General Sherman, with whom I have conversed at length upon the subject, thinks there is no difficulty in opening the passage, but that the line will be a precarious one after the army is thrown across the Mississippi. His preference is for a movement by way of Yazoo Pass, landing the army somewhere in the region of Charleston, and threatening Grenada and Jackson from that point, at the same time that the rich region of Northern Mississippi is held and the enemy deprived of the supplies derived from the line of the Yazoo and the Sunflower; or he is in favor of moving down by way of Lake Providence to the line of the Tensas and Red Rivers, and by holding that region sever the rebel connections and shut off their western supplies; but I judge that his mind is now tending to the conclusion of General Grant in favor of crossing, seizing Grand Gulf, and operating from that basis. As for General Grant, his purpose is set in that direction, and if the new canal should fail he will move his entire forces overland to Carthage of there-abuts, run transports enough past batteries afterward. Admiral Porter cordially agrees with the plan now being executed. How far the enemy suspects this scheme is uncertain. Parts of it have been