only stopping sufficiently long at any point before reaching there to remove such obstructions as prevent their own progress. Captain Kossak will go with this party. The other boat-load will commence their work in Steele's Bayou, and make the navigation as free as possible all the way through.
There is but little work to be done in Steele's Bayou, except for about 5 miles midway up the bayou. In this portion many overhanging trees will have to be removed, and should be dragged out of the channel.
U. S. GRANT.
HEADQUARTERS Fifteenth ARMY CORPS, Camp before Vicksburg, March 16, 1863.
To the officer in command of detachments on board Silver Wave:
SIR: You will proceed up the Yazoo about 12 miles, to the ruins of Johnson's plantation, directly opposite which comes in Steele's Bayou. Enter that bayou, which is now full and deep, and proceed to clear it of the limbs of overhanging trees, or of trees which obstruct it for the navigation of steamboats size and draught.
This bayou in about 12 miles come into another large bayou, also called Steele's Bayou, and the latter is wide and deep, and needs no clearing. You will clear out the first reach, say of 12 miles, so that a fleet of boats can pass through it.
A detail of 50 pioneers will be on board the Silver Wave, under your orders, and they will have 300 axes, saws, and all the tools necessary for the successful accomplishment of this work.
Admiral Porter has already passed through this bayou, and is now at a point beyond, working his way through to the Yazoo, and it is of vast importance that this part of the channel be cleared as fast as possible; therefore use all dispatch.
Report the progress of your work by all passing boats to me, who will be in advance, with Admiral Porter, and to General Grant, who will be at Young's Point.
I inclose with this a sketch* showing what part is reserved for you.
The Eighth Missouri, in the steamer Diligent, will pass through this same reach, and work at another point higher up, near Deer Creek. At all turn-offs a boat will be left to point the way.
I am, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN.
CAMP BEFORE Vicksburg, March 16, 1863.
Lieutenant-Colonel COLEMAN, Comdg. Eighth Missouri Infantry:
SIR: You will take command of your regiment and a detail of 50 men from the pioneer party, provided with ten days' provisions, and proceed on the steamboat Diligent up to the Magnolia, and report in person to General Grant, showing him these instructions; thence over to the mouth of the Yazoo, to the flag-ship Black Hawk, where Captain Breese, U. S. Navy, will give you a guide; thence proceed up the Yazoo to the mouth of Steele's Bayou, which you will remember as directly opposite the ruins of the Johnson, where we landed on the 26th of December last.
This bayou leads in a north-a little west-direction to a large bayou,
8 R R-VOL XXIV, PT III