War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0381 Chapter XXXVI. THE YAZOO PASS EXPEDITION, ETC.

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nothing definite at least. Loring, Tilghman, Colonel Waul of the Texas Legion, the SECOND Texas, Forty-sixth and Twentieth Mississippi are all the troops we have heard of. The SECOND Texas left Vicksburg on the 15th of February, went to Jackson, marched thence to Yazoo City, and came from there by steamer. They are doubtless fortifying Yazoo City strongly.

If we should succeed to-morrow in capturing their fort, and all depends upon the determination and distance, we may succeed in capturing a large number of prisoners.

The rebel fort called Greenwood and Pemberton is constructed of cotton bales covered over with sand and earth, and in itself would be very valuable.

Colonel, I have written you freely upon all that concerns this expedition, and wish you to preserve my letters. They are semi-official, and I believe in no case will you find a misstatement of facts or an error in judgment stated in them. I should have directed them to the general, perhaps, but upon deliberation thought I could write with more freedom to you, and subserve the same purpose.

There is yet one matter to which I wish to call your attention, and that is, notwithstanding your wish that I should have ben consulted, and the general's letter to General Prentiss directing the same thing, in no cases and in no regard was my opinion solicited, either explicitly or implicitly, directly or indirectly. With reference to the organization of the expedition, knew, as I told you, absolutely nothing of it until I returned to Moon Lake. Since we have been on the move, General Ross has consulted me freely upon all matters.

From all this you will see I am solicitous for my reputation at headquarters. I would not have you or any one else imagine I have stood upon punctilio in matters that concern the public welfare; but, to the contrary, I have not hesitated to tender my opinion upon a single occasion where I thought it worthy of attention, even to the naval authorities. The only case in which I regret my own negligence or want of foresight was in not advising General Gorman to send a heavy detachment down the Pass to Coldwater before we began operations at the levee, in order to prevent interference with it. I was thrown off my guard by the appearance of the country, giving confirmation to the report of the people that the whole country was flooded from back water and crevasses. Every appearance indicated this to be so. The fact is it was so nearly everywhere, and the trees had to be cut by men standing in boats. We might have prevented this, and might not. Even if we had, the expedition would not have been expedited by it, for as it was, it did not get ready to enter until a couple of days after we had returned to Helena. The transports were not ready until two or three days after. But suppose they had bes had not been cut, the rebels, instead of depending upon the obstructions and difficulties of navigation to detain us, would have begun at once to fortify at Greenwood.

As the thing stands now, without two or three good iron-clads are sent very soon, together with a siege train of six or eight 8-inch howitzers and 30-pounder rifles, or unless fortune should favor us to-morrow, the game is blocked on us here as well as below.

Should it turn out this way, Vicksburg becomes subordinate, our department SECONDARY, and Rosecrans' army our hope in the WEST.

Won't we, in that event, be required to furnish 50,000 or 60,000 men?

Before closing this letter, it may not be improper to mention the fact that the rebels are making great calculations "to bag us" entire. As