War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0190 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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on Red River to carry the Hartford by boarding, acknowledging that it will be a heavy loss of life, but determined to do it.

Your obedient servant,


MEMPHIS, TENN., April 12, 1863.

Major General B. M. PRENTISS, Commanding at Helena, Ark.:

GENERAL: General Washburn acted unadvisedly in asking for temporary use of cavalry from your command. I do not wish a regiment sent here at present, but, if it can be done, I do very much wish that the movement on the flank of Panola could be made.

They are drawing supplies heavily from the country between the railroad and the Mississippi for Vicksburg.

I think I shall move on Wednesday or Thursday along my entire line to clear the country, and perhaps reach far down.

Your obedient servant,


HEADQUARTERS THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Milliken's Bend, La., April 13, 1863.

Major General U. S. GRANT, Comdg. Department of the Tennessee:

GENERAL: I think the contemplated expedition ought not to take less than 300 rounds of ammunition per man, which would give a total of 6,000,000 rounds for a force of 20,000 men. Deducting from this sum 60 rounds per man, to be carried by the soldier, the balance would be 4,800,000 rounds.

To transport this amount of ammunition 35 miles by land, from here to Carthage, would require three days in the present miry state of the roads, and 300 wagons. Not having more than 150 wagons that can be made available, it would require eight days to transport it, including two of one return trip. To transport 300 rounds per gun for ten six-gun batteries of different caliber, would require three days and at least 90 wagons, making in all for the transportation of both infantry and artillery ammunition thirteen days, including four days for two return trips.

To obviate this delay and to hasten the important movement in view, I would earnestly recommend that the estimated supply of ammunition for all arms be sent down in one or more gunboats. If the gunboats cannot be made available, then I would recommend that a transport be lade with ammunition and sent down. To avoid accident, I would place two barges filled with wetted baled cotton, so as to shield the bow on the exposed side and the stern of the transports; and if, notwithstanding this precaution, the cotton should be ignited by the fire of the enemy, the transport might be cut loose, and thus enabled to escape destruction.

Your most obedient servant,

JOHN A. McClernand.

P. S. -I would inquire whether some of the transports intended to run the blockade might not be used to carry camp and garrison equipage, and thus further relieve the land movement across to Carthage, over the worst possible road since the recent rains, o encumbrances and delays.