War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0056 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

Search Civil War Official Records

little boat up the Tallahatchee and Coldwater, with two guns on her bow, to look after us, but soon returned.

Secrecy is out of the question, as it is as fully known at Grenada what we are doing as it is here. Grenada is only about 84 miles from here, and only 54 from Coldwater.

The obstacles become more and more formidable, but not, perhaps, insurmountable, and I am yet fearing that boats as large as the gunboats are will not be able to pass through, and it will take ten days further obstructions the fleet will find in the Coldwater. The scouts I send report unfavorably to taking boats through of any size or as large as gunboats.

I am, general, very truly, your friend,



Before Vicksburg, February 15, 1863.

Brigadier General B. M. PRENTISS,

Commanding District of Eastern Arkansas:

GENERAL: I send, with this, steamers to take on board General Ross' DIVISION, to be used with the Yazoo expedition. Inclosed with this you will find copy of a letter from me to Admiral Porter,* upon which the admiral based his instructions to the vessels used in this expedition, and which I want to have carried out.

Please hand the letter to General Ross for his guidance.

The troops will take with them FIFTEEN days' rations, a portion of their tents and cooking utensils, but no wagons. Where the steamers are adapted, one piece might be put on the bow of each.

If this expedition should succeed in getting into the Coldwater, I want General Ross to take with him all the force he starts from Helena with. To do this you will want to establish a small garrison at the mouth of Yazoo Pass from the remainder of your force. Lieutenant-Colonel Wilson, topographical engineer, has been with the expedition all the time, and knows the wants, and where troops should be placed. Please fill all requisitions from him for troops or tools, as if from myself.

The only change I would make in the instructions already given is, that as soon as they arrive at the mouth of the Yalabusha they turn up that stream and take Grenada and destroy the railroad bridges there, before proceeding farther down the river. Let there be no delay in this matter. Time now is growing important.

General Ross should take with him all his axes and spades, and if he has not got a good supply, then he should be supplied, particularly with axes, from the remainder of your command.

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



Before Vicksburg, February 15, 1863.

Major General U. S. GRANT,

Commanding Department of the Tennessee:

GENERAL: As connected with the subject of my communication of the 1st instant, relative to an expedition into Arkansas, I have the


*Not found.