day of October, 1863, there were requisitions in captain Parsons' office at Saint Louis for the immediate transportation of ever 6,500 mules, horses, and cattle, 600 wagons, and about 1,000 tons of other freight, to General Banks' command at New Orleans, 1,250 miles distant; also, for over 4,000 like animals to Memphis, Vicksburg, or Little Rock, more than 3,000 tons of commissary and quartermaster's stores to the same places, with considerable requisitins for Fort Leavenworth and other points on the Upper Missouri and Mississippi. So pressing was the demand for General Banks that he had detailed an officer to urge forward his requisitions, that his movements might not be delayed, while the Memphis requisitins were urgently demanded in order to enable General Sherman to hasten to the support of General Rosecrans. To have transported these 10,500 animals, 600 wagons, and 4,000 tons of supplies, not to speak of ordinary daily requisitions for transportation, which were always large, required at the then very low stage of the river from forty to fifty boats. To appreciate the difficulties of performing this service, it should be remembered that a large proportion of this great network of 20,000 miles of river navigation, watering the great States of this Valley, was for a long period either entirely under the control of the enemy or so situated that its navigation was liable at any moment to be obstructed thereby. From Brownsville, the head of navigation on the Monongahela in the State of Pennsylvania, via Pittsburg, down the Ohio to Cairo, up the Mississippi to the Missouri, thence to Fort Benton, the head of navigation upon the Missouri, a distance of 3,500 miles, the south or west side of these rivers has, during the war, been constantly subject to incursions by the rebels, or Indian savages, instigated by them to histility, while the 400 miles of the Tennessee, 300 miles o, 350 miles of the White River, the 650 miles of the Arkansas to Fort Gibson, 150 miles of the Yazoo, 620 miles of the Red River, andthe 1,150 miles of the Mississippi below Cairo were long under their entire control.
At the commencement of the war the Government held no point south of Cairo, and all southern rivers were blockaded until the fall of Forts Henry and Honelson in February, 1862, which opened the Tenessee and Cumberland, and also the Mississippi to Island Numbers 10. the fall of Island Numbers 10 and Corinth in the spring of 1862, led to the fall of Memphis, and opened the river to that place, but it was not until July, 1863, after the capture of Vicksburg, that the Mississippi, from Cairo to New Orleans, was at all passable for our transports, and even to May last the enemy claimed to hold most of those rivers by his movable batteries and roving bands of guerillas so as to prevent their navigation being of any practical advantage. It should further be recollected that the rebel Government have had an extended and effective organization under the direction of a cabinet officer for the sole purpose of the destruction of our transports, offering unparalleled rewards for the success of miscreants in this nefarious business, which, with the facility of modern inventions, has often been effected with ease and impunity. The means of transportation on all these rivers being of a similar character, have been generally available for service at any point. Those upon the Alleghany, the Illinois, the Saint Peter's, or the Yellowstone this week, might be upon the Cumberland or the Tennessee, the Yazoo or Red Rivers next week. Those now loading at Pittsburg, Cincinnati, and Louisville could within a few days be at Saint Louis, Memphis, New Orleans, or Mobile, doing equally useful service, though changed thousands of miles in their location. The principal demand for water transportation during the war has been for