War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0055 Chapter XXXVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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at night (last), after securing eight wagon loads of good corn, and capturing 3 prisoners (2 non-commissioned officers and 1 private). A large number of Blythe's men where seen in advance and on the flanks of the command, but our force was too small to enable us to accomplish more than was done.

If you will put at my disposal for two or three days about 300 good cavalry (the SECOND Illinois would be preferred), I think Blythe's band may be entirely destroyed.

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



Mississippi RIVER RAM FLEET, Off Greenville, February 14, 1863.

Officer Commanding C. S. Forces near Greenville:

SIR: I desire an interview with you on business connected with the service. If you will do me the honor to meet me, I will indicate the court-house in Greenville as a proper place, where I will be with a flag of truce to-morrow (Sunday, 15th), at 2 p. m. *

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


U. S. Navy, Captain Commanding First DIVISION, Ram Flotilla.

BEFORE Vicksburg, February 15, 1863.

Rear-Admiral DAVID D. PORTER,

Comdg. Mississippi Squadron:

Representations coming in to me, as they have, reflecting on General Gorman's administration of affairs at Helena, I sent an officer there last week to supersede him in the command; also a new quartermaster and provost-marshall.

The steamers referred to in your note were reported to me, and directions immediately sent to Memphis to have them seized. Trade has not been opened below Helena by military authority-not even to purchase and ship cotton. I have thought of doing so as low down as Napoleon, but have been waiting to see if the Government would not take all the cotton and sell it in the loyal States. If it is regarded of prime necessity that the greatest amount should be secured, then appoint Government agents to purchase for the Government, giving the citizens to understand that all the cotton they bring in would be paid for at a fixed price-say, 20 cents per pound.

No military commander has a right to direct or order a naval vessel on any duty, much less to give aid in private speculation.


HEADQUARTERS AT HELENA, February 15, 1863.

Major General John A. McClernand,

Thirteenth Army Corps:

GENERAL: I have been steadily engaged for more than ten days cutting through the drift in the Yazoo Pass. Two thousand men are there now. The enemy have a force of cavalry a short distance ahead of us, and an occasional skirmish takes place. I learn that the enemy sent a


*See Stevenson to Grant, February 24, and Ferguson to Sutherland, February 25; also correspondence between Sutherland and Pemberton.