LAKE PROVIDENCE, La., March 18, 1863.
Commanding Department of the Tennessee:
GENERAL: The levee was cut here yesterday afternoon, and the water is flowing in at a tremendous rate, filling up the lake and bayous.
We will soon be able to take a good-sized steamer in. I have directed General Logan to go up about 5 miles, where there is comparatively high ground, and disembark, and send the boats back for the remainder of his DIVISION. If the country about the lake is likely to be overflowed, I shall move General McArthur's DIVISION up to the same point.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. B. McPHERSON.
HELENA, ARK., March 18, 1863.
Major General STEPHEN A. HURLBUT,
Commanding SIXTEENTH Army Corps:
GENERAL: My dispatches from Brigadier-General Ross, just received, of date 15th instant, represent him as having unexpectedly found the rebel Fort Greenwood to be of great strength, so that more time and work will be required for its reduction than at first anticipated. I inclose with this a copy of the requisition made upon me by Lieutenant-Colonel Wilson,* of General Grant's staff, who accompanies General Ross, for guns and ammunition. My orders from General Grant are to fill all Colonel Wilson's requisitions as coming direct from department headquarters, but I am quite unable to furnish the required articles. I therefore send Captain Davidson, chief of artillery of this district, and Captain Hatch, chief quartermaster, to your department for the needed supplies, and I trust you will give them every facility for speedily securing and forwarding what General Ross needs. I need not say that it is important that General Ross be re-enforced promptly. I hope a portion, at least, of the ammunition may be forwarded to-morrow. General Ross has already in position one 30-pounder Parrott and one 8-inch howitzer, and needs 40 rounds of ammunition for each gun, besides that mentioned by Colonel Wilson. If it be possible, I beg that all these supplies may be sent here to-morrow.
Quartermaster [Reuben B.) Hatch has also other business of importance to transact, in which I request that he may have your assistance.
I am, general, very truly, your obedient servant,
B. M. PRENTISS.
SAINT LOUIS, MO., March 18, 1863. -3. 30 p. m.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief:
General A. P. Hovey has just arrived here with instructions from General Prentiss, which instructions proceed from advice from General Grant, to procure all the small-class steamers on all the rivers, to transport troops through the Yazoo Pass to Yazoo City. General Hovey thinks that it is vitally important that a large number of small steamers be procured. He proceeds to Cincinnati to-day. Unless he is authorized to seize boats at Cincinnati, he will fail in procuring any. He thinks that large boats can be sent back in time to replace the small ones. No boats of any kind can be had here, all already being below. General Hovey