War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0105 Chapter XXXVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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quainted with the enemy's forces on the banks and his boats in the adjacent waters. I shall be most happy to avail myself of the earliest moment to have a consultation with yourself and Rear-Admiral Porter as to the assistance I can render you at this place; and, if none, then I will return to the mouth of Red River and carry out my original design.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


BEFORE Vicksburg, March 13, 1863.

Major General J. B. McPHERSON,

Commanding SEVENTEENTH Army Corps:

Lagow has just returned, and called my attention to several points that you want instructions on.

As regards Quinby going into the Pass with his present transports, he is the best judge of the practicability. Let him use a proper discretion. I have sent north for small class steamers, which should be expected to commence arriving soon.

In regard to the contrabands, the question is a troublesome one. I am not permitted to send them out of the department, and such numbers as we have it is hard to keep them in.

You have received my order with regard to the pioneer corps. This will enable you to use 300 men to each DIVISION. The balance will be left at Lake Providence as long as it is a military post. When it is broken up they will have to be sent to Memphis, or some other prominent post. Memphis will be the place, in the absence of other instructions.

Exercise your own judgment about when the levees should be cut at Lake Providence. The object of having cotton brought in is to make some of our transports into rams. I will send up for what you have collected, which, with what we have, I think will be sufficient for the purpose.

The Yazoo expedition seems to move slowly. Wilson thinks the ranking naval officer is somewhat to blame. I am anxious to see Quinby in with his force. I have a great deal of confidence in his judgment, and still more in the increased there will be in the Yazoo when he gets there. My instructions may not have been plain in one point, but I want Quinby to move as rapidly as possible until he joins Ross, and not wait for transports to take his whole DIVISION. Have him go in just as rapidly as the transports can taken him.


BEFORE Vicksburg, March 13, 1863.

Brigadier General B. M. PRENTISS,

Commanding District of Eastern Arkansas:

You are doing perfectly right, and are carrying out previous instructions, by holding the Pass from the Mississippi into Coldwater. Being near the entrance, I want you to supply everything to the command they require. Rations and coal may be required soon. If so, send them without delay.

Give me all the news you receive from the Yazoo expedition promptly and direct, without sending through the army corps commander.