War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0404 Chapter XXXVI Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC.

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camping ground. General Ransom is still up the river, at American Bend, with two regiments from here, and the force that came up from the fleet. I am expecting him down to-night or to-morrow.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,



Major General U. S. GRANT,

Commanding Department of the Tennessee.

Numbers 7.

Report of Brigadier General Isaac F. Quinby, U. S. Army, commanding Seventh DIVISION, of operations March 9-28.


Near Helena, Ark., March 9, 1863.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report my arrival at the entrance to the passage to Moon Lake at 3 p. m. yesterday; but as the wind was then blowing quite hard from the north, and there was also some fog, I did not think it prudent to attempt passing to the lake until the wind should fall and the fog clear away. The land adjoining the entrance for some distance, both above and below, is overflowed, and I therefore made for the opposite shore of the river, where I found dry land and a good place for tying up boats. I then went to Helena, about 4 miles distant, to get some definite information about the character of the pass to the lake, as well as than from the lake to the Coldwater.

I saw General Prentiss and Major [Reuben B.] Hatch, acting quarter-master, both of whom advised against the attempt to take my large transports into the lake. I determined that I would take a small steamer to-day and go through the Pass, to enable me to judge for myself, first, as to the propriety of going in with the large boats, and, SECONDLY, to select the best position for establishing the camp of my DIVISION.

I have but just returned from the lake, and am compelled to say that, in my opinion, it would be unwise to try the passage with the large transports. The current is rapid, and the narrow channel, at about 100 yards from the river, makes a sharp bend of at least 90 degrees. Long boats, without the most skillful management, could not make this turn

Should one such boat be sunk in the channel, no others could pass until the wreck was removed, and that would be a work of much time and difficulty. S

Nearly all of the lake shore is now submerged, and the water is

still rising.

For the above reasons, I shall deem myself justified in departing from the strict letter of your and General Grant's instructions, and will look for some convenient point other than that indicated at which to disembark my troops, believing that in so doing I am complying with what would be your wishes in view of the facts.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding Seventh DIVISION.

Major General J. B. McPHERSON,

Commanding SEVENTEENTH Army Corps.