ment to Lake Providence, La., and there report to Major-General McPherson, commanding SEVENTEENTH Army Corps, for orders.
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By order of Major General U. S. Grant:
JNO. A. RAWLINS,
BEFORE Vicksburg, March 23, 1863.
Admiral D. G. FARRAGUT, Commanding Gult Squadron:
As you kindly offered me the co-operation of your vessels, and the use of them to transport troops to Warrenton, should I want to send an expedition to destroy their batteries, I have determined to take advantage of the offer. I have directed General Steele to select two regiments from his command, and get them to the opposite side of the peninsula to-day, ready to embark as soon as in your judgment you think it should be done.
I send no special instructions for this expedition further than to destroy effectually the batteries at Warrenton, and to return to their camp here. They will be glad to receive any suggestions or directions from you.
This is a bad day for troops to be out, but in that particular it may be favorable to us.
Thanking you, admiral, for your offer of the service of your vessels,
U. S. GRANT.
P. S. -Captain Walke, who is the senior naval officer here in the absence of Admiral Porter, asked me yesterday for cotton bales with which to pack two of the rams, for the purpose of sending them to join you. I promised him anything in the world the army has for accomplishment of this purpose, and presume the vessels will be sent. I look upon it as of vast importance that we should hold the river securely between Vicksburg and Port Hudson.
MARCH 23, 1863.
Admiral D. G. FARRAGUT, Commanding Gulf Squadron:
ADMIRAL: In the various notes I have written, including the dispatch for General Banks, I have not mentioned that soon after taking command there in person I collected my surplus troops at Lake Providence and directed the commanding officer to effect a passage through from the Mississippi River to Bayou Macon. This will give navigable water through by that route to the Red River. This is now reported practicable for ordinary Ohio River steamers. I sent several weeks ago for this class of steamers, and expected them before this. Should they arrive, and Admiral Porter gets his boats out of the Yazoo, so as to accompany the expedition, I can send a force of, say, 20,000 effective men to co-operate with General Banks on Port Hudson.
This force certainly would easily reduce Port Hudson and enable them to come on up the river and maintain a position on high land near enough to Vicksburg until they could be re-enforced from here sufficiently to operate against the city.
Please inform the general of the contents of this, and much oblige your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT.