Tennessee, it would not be possible to give adequate protection to extensions beyond Corinth.
I am anxiously waiting for some general plan of operations from Washington. It is important that the troops of different departments should act in concert; hence the necessity of general instructions coming from one head.
Nothing is required from above for the road here. We captured five locomotives in Vicksburg and a number of cars. Only 11 miles of the road is being used, and that only for army purposes. All that will have to be supplied hereafter by this road will be 2,000 or 3,000 men Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT.
Vicksburg, MISS., July 27, 1863.
Major General N. P. BANKS, Comdg. Department of the Gulf:
GENERAL: Herewith I send you dispatch just received from Washington. * In consequence of Price's movements, I am called upon to send forces to Helena to move against him. I am also compelled to send the NINTH Army Corps back to Kentucky.
These moves are taking all the transportation that can be raised, and I fear that a week more will not see all the troops off. Should I hear in the meantime that the forces are not sufficient for the services required, I will send the freshest DIVISION I have, although all of them are much in need of rest. Sickness is showing itself to a very great extent in this command, though there is but little fatal disease.
I am inclined to believe that Kirby Smith has withdrawn most of his forces that were at Monroe and thereabouts to Shreveport, or at least taken them from where they were. I have taken no pains, however, to find out about them, not being prepared to make any move against them just now.
By the time transportation can be gotten, I will be ready to co-operate with any army corps, if necessary, for the extinction of Smith's forces, should no move be ordered from Washington requiring my troops elsewhere.
If my troops are to rest for some time, I shall send an army corps to Natchez, instead of keeping them all here. In that case there will always be a force there disposable to give very great assistance, should you require it.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT.
SPECIAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE TENNESSEE, Number 203. Vicksburg, MISS., July 27, 1863.
VIII. Major General F. Steele is hereby assigned to the command of the army to take the field from Helena, Ark. He will proceed immediately to Helena, and report by letter from there to Major General S. A. Hurlbut, commanding SIXTEENTH Army Corps, for special instructions.
By command of Major General U. S. Grant:
T. S. BOWERS,
Major and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
*See Halleck to Grant, July 22, p. 542.