Reports of Major General James B. McPherson, U. S. Army, commanding
SEVENTEENTH Army Corps.
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Lake Providence, La., March 13, 1863
GENERAL: Inclosed please find copies of dispatches just received from Generals Quinby* and Ross, which will give you an idea of the difficulties they have to contend with. The whole country on the east side of Mississippi in the vicinity of Yazoo Pass and in Moon Lake is overflowed, and General Quinby was obliged to disembark his troops on the western bank of the Mississippi, not far from the Pass, on the only dry ground he could find. As General Quinby was obliged to discharge some boats for repairs, only six have returned, and I cannot learn that any more are coming down. These will carry about two THIRDS of Logan's DIVISION. Unless I can obtain more boats, it will take over two weeks to get the command here to the entrance to Moon Lake. I am extremely anxious to get into the Yazoo as soon as possible with re-enforcements, for I am apprehensive that Quinby will meet with a stronger force than he can attend to.
General Logan's DIVISION will commence embarking tomorrow, and will probably be off the day after, or at least as much of it as the boats can carry.
Colonel Lagow has, I presume, given you all the points in relation to cotton, contrabands, cutting the levee, &c.
JAS. B. McPHERSON,
Major General U. S. GRANT,
Commanding Department of the Tennessee
LAKE PROVIDENCE, La.,
March 22, 1863 -4 p. m.
GENERAL: One brigade of General Logan's DIVISION and part of another are on board of transports, ready to start for Eagle Bend, and will reach that point early to-morrow. I shall leave General McArthur here and go down with General Logan's DIVISION.
I inclose you a copy of General Quinby's dispatch,# just received from which you will understand the difficulties he has had to contend with. I have just received a letter from Colonel Boomer, dated the 20th, stating that boats enough had arrived to take the balance of General Quinby's DIVISION, and that he would be off double quick. He also stated that he thought boats enough would be down yesterday to take General Smith's DIVISION.
Since cutting the levee at this point, the water has risen steadily in the lake until the shore is all overflowed, except in a few high points. I have been obliged to move the whole of Logan's DIVISION, and all but one brigade of McArthur's, up the river about 5 miles, in order to get
* See Numbers 7, report of March 9, p. 404
# See Numbers 7, report of March 16, p. 406