I will heartily co-operate with you in the present enterprise so long as you deem it advisable to push it. Troops may have seemed slow in reaching you after your call, but all was due to the natural obstacles in the way of their reaching you earlier. I sent them promptly to Eagle Bend, having no more transports suitable to the navigation of the bayou, but the land the Mississippi to Steele's Bayou was found covered with water, and had to be bridged. This is now done, and there is no difficulty in getting them up there.
Please let me hear from you by Major Bowers, of my staff, who bears this.
U. S. GRANT.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE, Before Vicksburg, March 23, 1863.
Major General B. M. PRENTISS, Comdg. District of Eastern Arkansas:
GENERAL: Not hearing of the arrival of small boats, so long expected, I directed General McPherson to collect all of his forces in the vicinity of Helena and bring them down to where he is.
I to-day learn of the arrival of a number of these boats, and the probability that General Smith has already embarked for the Pass. If this is so, let him go. Understand, if General Smith is already in Yazoo Pass, send him down to Quinby; if not, then send him to McPherson.
I send instructions to Quinby by the same conveyance that takes this. I tell him that he will be informed by you exactly what forces have gone, and that no more can be expected.
U. S. GRANT.
BEFORE Vicksburg, March 23, 1863.
Major General FRED. STEELE,
Commanding First DIVISION, Fifteenth Army Corps:
This is a bad day for troops to be out, but may be the more propitious for the plan of yesterday, for all that.
I have no special instructions to send, further than to effectually destroy the enemy's batteries at Warrenton, and return to camp. I have written to Admiral Farragut, informing him that the expedition might be looked for, if possible for them to reach the other side of the point.
I told him further the limited instructions from me, and that suggestions from him would be gladly received by the commanding officer. If not already prepared for starting, these troops should be got ready as soon as possible.
U. S. GRANT.
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Lake Providence, La., March 23, 1863.
Brigadier General I. F. QUINBY, Comdg. Yazoo Expedition:
GENERAL: Your dispatch of the 16th was received yesterday, and immediately forwarded to Major-General Grant, that he may know some of the difficulties you have to contend with.
I was aware that the Pass was narrow and tortuous, with a strong