of the Government. It is our duty, therefore, to use every means to weaken the enemy, by destroying their means of subsistence, withdrawing their means of cultivating their fields, and in every other way possible.
All the negroes you have you will provide for where they are, issuing to them necessary rations until other disposition is made of them. You will also encourage all negroes, particularly middle-aged males, to come within our lines.
General L. Thomas is now here, with authority to make ample provision for the negro. I will direct Colonel [Robert] Macfeely to make arrangements for sending your rations. Whilst at Greenville, destroy or bring off all the corn and beef-cattle you possibly can. The 150 bales of cotton you speak of may be brought in, and 100 additional bales if they can be taken either [from] neighbors to the Douglas' plantation or persons holding office under the Confederate Government.
U. S. GRANT.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF EASTERN Arkansas, Helena, Ark., April 11, 1863.
Major-General HURLBUT, Memphis:
GENERAL: Your letter was received this morning. I am this day sending to General Grant nine regiments of infantry, four batteries of artillery, and one company of cavalry, which will reduce my force at this point so materially that I fear I cannot furnish the force to co-operate with your intended movement, but will write you more fully to-morrow. Rest assured, if I can, I will; it is my desire now to accommodate you. I received a communication from General Washburn, requesting me to send a party out from Austin; also suggesting the propriety of sending a gunboat to vicinity of Panola. The gunboats have gone below. I will either furnish you a regiment of cavalry and forward it to Memphis, or send the party out from Austin. General, if I send the cavalry to you, I do it with the understanding they are to be returned. I will write to you to-morrow.
B. M. PRENTISS.
MILLIKEN'S BEND, La., April 12, 1863.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
General Grant has constructed a road to Carthage, half a mile of which has got to be raised 10 inches. He intends cutting the levee, which will open a water communication nearly parallel to the road, the shallowest place 7 feet, but this can be dredged if necessary. When the river falls 2 feet, he can cut with safety to the road, the road being necessary for the passage of artillery and troops. One DIVISION is at Carthage and another on its way there. About three nights hence Admiral Porter will run the Vicksburg batteries with such of his fleet as he desires to take below. General Grant will send four steamers, with machinery protected by hay-bales and sand-bags, when ready. The batteries below Vicksburg will be taken in conjunction with General Banks. This army is in very fine condition, unusually healthy, and in good heart.