It would be well to send General Washburn to Moon Lake as soon as the weather and roads will permit of him doing service there, and have him that much nearer where he will be wanted.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT.
STEAMER SUPERIOR, March 8, 1863.
Brigadier General L. F. ROSS:
GENERAL: Inclosed I send you an extract from a letter of instructions of the 5th instant, from Major-General Grant to Major-General McPherson,* which will give you some idea of the wishes of the former and of his general plan of operations for the reduction of Vicksburg. He evidently attaches great importance to the movement down the Yazoo River, the failure of which would in all probability render it necessary to make a complete change in the present programme, and, to say the least, delay for a long time the accomplishment of our immediate object. We cannot afford to fail, but must move surely, even though it be slowly, toward the proposed end. The enemy doubtless knows of your progress, and has guessed your object before this, and will make preparations to check your advance, commensurate with the danger to which he is thereby exposed. You will proceed with extreme caution, and under no circumstance bring on an engagement until re-enforced by at least my DIVISION, unless confident of victory. Better fall back a little rather than jeopardize the success of the whole campaign by an untimely reverse.
I shall push forward my DIVISION with all possible dispatch, but am, of course, dependent on suitable transports, which, as you will see by General Grant's instructions, are promised at once.
Please avail yourself of every opportunity of communicating whatever may be important connected with your operations, and of all that you may know of the movements of the enemy.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
I. F. QUINBY,
JACKSON, TENN., March 8, 1863.
There are no troops this side the river. All is quiet. Van Dorn may attack Donelson, but he will not dare come over here. The river is over its banks. I will keep a cavalry detachment toward Paris.
JER. C. SULLIVAN.
LA GRANGE, TENN., March 8, 1863.
By order of General Hurlbut, no train will be run north of Jackson after to-day. You will draw in all your troops north of Jackson to-morrow. Send the two Bethel regiments to this place, and report what troops you have on the road north.
C. S. HAMILTON.
*See Grant to McPherson, p. 86.