Pearl River and south of Bayou Pierre, as far south as Port Hudson, of all band of rebel cavalry.
I have received official information from General Steele of the evacuating of Little Rock by the enemy. I don't think that this action of the enemy had any reference to your movements into Texas, but, no doubt, when your movements are discovered by the, they will abandon Arkansas and Northern Louisiana to concentrate against you. If my forces with General Steele are returned to me, I could re-enforce you largely without interfering with my army corps that have been in the field. These forces, however, are operating in another department, and are for the present beyond my control. As it is, I will have to send you for the present emergency one division from the Seventeenth Army Corps. As it reduces this army corps very much to make this draft upon it, I hope this division will be returned as soon as the good of the public service will admit.
I find, on inquiry of my ordnance officer, that we have not got here the class of guns your desire. After supplying the forts at this place and at Natchez, I can spare you the following guns, to wit: Two 10-inch columbiads, three 10-inch sea-coast guns, seven 10-inch mortars, six 8-inch mortars, four 9-inch navy guns, two rifled guns, 6.50 caliber, and quite a large number of guns of a smaller caliber, some of which, I presume, are rifled. Anything you call for in this list will be promptly furnished.
As I am compelled to dictate for another writing, to which I am unaccustomed, I make my letter brief; should write more fully cold I write myself.
Instead of sending you a division, as I spoke of in the first part of this letter, I will hold one in readiness here, with sufficient transportation and fuel, to send you on receipt of orders, in accordance with the understanding I had of our conversation in New Orleans.
should you require them at once, please inform me. The division I desire to send you has not yet returned from Helena, here it was ordered to re-enforce the Little Rock expedition. Orders have gone for its return.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
Vicksburg, September 22, 1863.
Major General N. P. BANKS,
Commanding Department of the Gulf:
GENERAL: I arrived at this point yesterday morning, after a slow and tedious ride of three days and a half on the steamer Welcome, and have the honor to report that I immediately communicated to Major-General Grant, commanding the Department of the Tennessee, your requests, as contained in my instructions, dated September 17, 1863. Inclosed herewith I have the honor to transmit Major-General Grant's reply* to the same.
Rear-Admiral Porter is nowhere in this neighborhood, but somewhere between here and Cairo. I shall at once proceed on up the river until I find him. Should he be at Cairo, it will take at least ten days to go and return. I will embrace every opportunity to keep you advised of my movements.
*See letter immediately preceding.