HDQRS. 4TH DIV., 17TH ARMY CORPS,
Natchez, Miss., August 31, 1863.
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IV. Brg. General W. Q. Gresham,
commanding Third Brigade, Fourth Division, will at once prepare his command to move on an expedition across the river into Louisiana, crossing the river at this place as soon as he is notified that boats are in readiness to transport him. Ten days' rations will be taken and 150 rounds of ammunition per man. One tent for brigade headquarters and one tent for each regiment and battery will be allowed, and transportation sufficient only to carry rations,ammunition, and the above allowance of camp equipage.
V. The Fifteenth Ohio Battery will accompany the Third Brigade, and the commanding officers will report at once to General Greshamm for orders.
VI. Colonel Cyrus Hall, commanding Second Brigade, Fourth Division, will at once prepare his command for an expedition across the river into Louisiana, crossing the river at this place as soon as Brigadier-General Gresham's brigade has crossed. Ten days' rations will be taken, and 150 rounds of ammunition per man. One tent for brigade headquarters and one for each regiment and battery will be allowed, and transportation sufficient only to carry rations, ammunition, and the above allowance of camp equipage. A battery from General Ransom's command will be ordered to report to Colonel Hall, who will direct the transportation and crossing of the same. By order of Brigadier General M. M. Crocker:
W. H. F. RANDALL,
U. S. MISSISSIPPI SQUADRON,
FLAG-SHIP BLACK HAWK,
Cairo, August 31, 1863.
Major General S. A. HURLBUT,
Commanding Forces, Memphis:
GENERAL: Your communication of 28th instant, inclosing an extract from a letter from General Steele, has been received. I should be very happy to oblige the general, and will do so the moment I can raise the force. General Banks is calling on me to assist him in his operations up the Atchafalaya, and General Grant up the tributaries of the Red River. I have to keep vessels at certain points on the river, and I am now ten vessels short. Those I sent into White River, under command of Captain Bache, to co-operate with the army, were all in good condition when they started; one of them has returned much damaged by the navigation of the river, and will be sent back as soon as possible. If the White River does not fall any more, Captain Bache has the Lexington (a heavily armed vessel) at the mouth, and can use her at his discretion. The vessels in White River would not be considered out of repair for the work there; the navigation is easy; they have but little running to do, and their batteries are very