as speedily as practicable a supply of steamboat transportation for 20,000 men, a part of the steamers to be of the smaller class of boats.
I have received within a few days a request from Major-General Rosecrans to aid him in the matter of his supplies by sending him ten Illinois rations within the next three weeks, and I have already instructed the quartermaster's department here to take all the boats on the river for this transportation. Unless boats are returned here speedily from the Cumberland River, it will be impossible to fully carry out General Rosecrans' wishes, and, therefore, still more impossible to do so if a portion of the boats are sent to General Grant.
It is possible, however, that when General Rosecrans learns the wants of the army at Vicksburg, he may be able to extend the time within which the subsistence may be furnished, or to diminish the quantity, and I have, therefore, telegraphed him upon the subject. I will notify you of his answer.
I desire to say, as stated to you in conversation to-day, that there can be no objection to you taking some of the smaller boats here and else-where on the river, if you will speedily replace them by larger boats, of an aggregate equivalent capacity for freight.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. G. WRIGHT.
[MARCH 11, 1863. -For Asboth to Davidson, about Marmaduke's position, see Series I, VOL. XXII, Part II, p. 153.]
WASHINGTON, D. C., March 12, 1863.
Major ROBERT ALLEN, Saint Louis:
Dispatch from General Grant, received to-day, dated 6th, says canal nearly completed. Previous dispatch says he don't want any more dredges. Pride's opinion will not be acted on.
H. W. HALLECK.
CINCINNATI, March 12, 1863.
GENERAL: I sent you last night a copy of my letter to General Wright,* though, I think, dated wrongly as the 10th. I have only been able to get a reply to-day, a copy of which I inclose. + The progress is most unsatisfactory; but I can do no more here. I have, however, ordered every boat that comes from this or any place to be seized at Cairo. I feel annoyed and surprised that General Wright will not ask at once under such pressing circumstances, but perhaps I do not see both sides. I hope for a reply to his T. D. [telegraphic dispatch] to General Rosecrans by morning.
L. B. PARSONS,
Colonel and Assistant Quartermaster.
LA GRANGE, [March 12,] 1863.
I desire you will place Lee's cavalry, except one battalion, under my control next week. I shall send an expedition from Corinth, with a
+See p. 102.