War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0148 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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twelve to FIFTEEN yawls would be required, I called on General Ellet for them. The general being over to see you, no reply was received (except from his adjutant-general, that he thought they had that number) until the general's return in the evening, when he informed me that it was arranged for the rams and Hartford to transport the troops; no small boats would be required. After learning again that small boats would be required, I again called on General Ellet for them, and only learned after dark that, after the losses of the vessels with the rams, he could not furnish them. I then sent for the boats belonging to the transport fleet, and found that not more than two could be gotten. By this time so much of the night was consumed that I could not call upon the navy with any prospect of getting them through in time to be used this morning. About 9 o'clock last night, I learned that a force of apparently about 1,500 men left Vicksburg in the direction of Warrenton. I communicated this fact to Colonel Woods, and left it for you and himself, who would probably have better means of knowing the destination of these troops, to judge what course was best to pursue. With a little lower stage of water, I would endeavor to occupy New Carthage. This occupied, and one gunboat from this fleet below the city, the enemy could be kept out of Warrenton, and also from taking supplies from a rich country that can be reached through bayous with flat-boats on this side of the river. I see by Southern papers, received yesterday, that Vicksburg must depend upon Louisiana or WEST of the Mississippi for supplies. Holding Red River from them is a great step in the direction of preventing this, but it will not entirely accomplish the object. New Carthage should be held, and it seems to me that, in addition, we should have vessels sufficient below to patrol the whole river from Warrenton to the Red River. I will have a consultation with Admiral Porter on the subject. I am happy to say the admiral and myself have never yet disagreed upon any policy.

I am looking for a mail in to-day, and should one arrive with later dates of papers than you have already been furnished with, I will send them over.


CORINTH, MISS., March 26, 1863.

Captain HENRY BINMORE, Assistant Adjutant-General, Memphis:

CAPTAIN: The enemy have taken up the line of Bear Creek again, and have thrown a force into Tuscumbia and Florence, in all about 4,000 and two batteries, under command of Brigadier General S. a. m. Wood. They no doubt are a force of observation, and I can move on them and drive them out. Unless this is done, they will take out immense quantities of forage, with which that valley abounds. If it meets the general's approval, as soon as the streams ad roads admit, I will march upon them with all my cavalry and sufficient infantry and artillery to insure the success of the expedition.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,



Major General B. M. PRENTISS, Comdg. Dist. Eastern Arkansas:

GENERAL: Send me with the least possible delay the material for constructing a pontoon bridge 300 feet long. When the rest of my DIVISION arrives, I shall be ready to use such a bridge.