War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0238 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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to below Grand Gulf, re-embark rapidly, and proceed to the latter place. There will be required, then, three signals to indicate that the transports can run down and debark the troops at Grand Gulf-one that the transports can run by without the troops, and the last that transports can run by with the troops on board.

Should the men have to march, all baggage and artillery will be left to run the blockade.

If not already directed, require your men to keep three days' rations in their haversacks, not be touched until a movement commences.

U. S. GRANT.

PERKINS' PLANTATION, April 27, 1863.

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

GENERAL: General Osterhaus expects a report this evening from Colonel Keigwin, commanding expedition in the direction of Grand Gulf. That report will determine the question of the practicability of reaching a point near the place by land. Until that question is determined, I will (unless you direct otherwise) postpone ordering any portion of my command in that direction.

General Osterhaus reports that some of the transport and barges assigned to him are at present unseaworthy. General Carr reports the same in regard to one of the transport assigned to him. The constant use of such of the boats as passed Vicksburg, since their arrival, in bringing troops, &c., through a narrow bayou to this place, has increased their unseaworthiness, and has left no time for repairing them. I fear more time will be required to make them seaworthy than will be agreeable to either of us.

I have assigned to General Hovey the two barges that came down this morning, in addition to the steamer Horizon, but one of them is represented to be almost in a sinking condition, and will require to be repaired.

Your order of the 24th instant, prohibiting the wagons from being brought over from Smith's on boats, has left behind dispensing wagons and ambulances. DIVISION commanders make this explanation of the absence of both, and in turn I make it to you. I have, however, the corps hospital wagons along.

Your obedient servant,

JOHN A. McClernand.

PERKINS' PLANTATION, April 27, 1863.

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

GENERAL: Being hourly engaged in preparing orders for the impending movements, I send Colonel Mudd and Lieutenant Tunica, engineer of the NINTH DIVISION, to make explanations in connection with the map I sent you this evening, and the reconnaissance being made toward Grand Gulf. For reasons which these officers will explain, it appears that the reconnoitering force cannot safely go farther without re-enforcement.

The force consists in part of two regiments of General Osterhaus' DIVISION, which it was intended should join him below, at Hard Times, in the impending movement. By ordering Genera Smith forward, I can enable the regiments to go on, if there be a road, but still fear that in waiting for re-enforcements they might reach Hard Times too late to