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Appendix to chapter VII.

[At the risk of some repetition, I have determined to furnish complete copies of all the dispatches that passed between General Grant and General Halleck, or any member of the Government, during the entire Vicksburg campaign, from the day that Grant first visited the fleet at the mouth of the Arkansas, to the date of the second capture of Jackson. The only omitted portions of this correspondence are the dispatches referring to mere routine business, and a few extracts having no reference whatever to military operations. Whenever a dispatch is not given in full, the omission is indicated by points. I have not given General Grant's formal report, which is already published, and is for the most part a synopsis or repetition of the dispatches that were sent from day to day during the campaign.]

General Grant to General Halleck.—(Cipher telegram.)

Memphis, Tenn., January 16, 1863.
I start immediately for the fleet. My design is to get such information from them as I find it impossible to get here. I I will return here in a few days, and in the mean time reenforcements will be forwarded with all dispatch.

General Grant to General Halleck.—(Cipher telegram.)

Napoleon, Ark., January 18, 1863.
General McClernand's command is at this place. Will move down the river to-day. Should Banks pass Port Hudson, this force will be ready to cooperate on Vicksburg at any time. [625] What may be necessary to reduce the place I do not yet know, but since the late rains I think our troops must get below the city, to be used effectively.

General Grant to General Halleck.—(Cipher telegram.)

Memphis, January 20, 1863.
I found the Mississippi expedition at mouth of Arkansas river, and started them immediately to Young's point. A canal will be at once surveyed and cut. The weather is highly unfavorable for operations. Streams are all very high, and it is still raining. The work of reducing Vicksburg will take time and men, but can be accomplished. Gorman has gone up White river with a great part of his force. So many boats being kept there makes it almost impossible to get transportation for troops. Both banks of the Mississippi should be under one commander, at least during present operations.

General Grant to General Halleck.—(letter.)

Memphis, Tenn., January 20, 1863.
I returned here last night from a visit to the expedition under General McClernand.

I had a conversation with Admiral Porter, General McClernand, and General Sherman. The former and latter, who have had the best opportunity of studying the enemy's position and plans, agree that the work of reducing Vicksburg is one of time, and will require a large force in the final struggle. With what troops I have already designated from here, no more forces will be required for the present, but I will suggest whether it would not be well to know beforehand where they are to come from when required, if required at all.

The enemy have the bluffs from Haine's bluff, on the Yazoo (this is where the raft across the river is constructed), to the Mississippi, and down until they recede from the river, completely and thoroughly fortified.

I propose running a canal through, starting far enough above the old one commenced last summer, to receive the stream where it impinges against the shore with the greatest velocity. The old canal left the river in an eddy, and in a line [626] perpendicular to the stream, and also to the crest of the hills opposite with a battery directed against the outlet. This new canal will debouch below the bluffs on the opposite side of the river, and give our gunboats a fair chance against any fortifications that may be placed to oppose them.

But for the intolerable rains that we have had, and which have filled the swamps and bayous so that they cannot dry up again this winter, a landing might be effected at Milliken's bend; and roads constructed through to the Yazoo above the raft or Haine's bluff, and the enemy's works turned from that point. Once back of the intrenchments on the crest of the bluffs, the enemy would be compelled to come out and give us an open field fight, or submit to having all his communications cut and be left to starve out.

I would make no suggestions unasked, if you were here to see for yourself, or if I did not know that as much of your time is taken up with each of several other departments as with this. As, however, I control only the troops in a limited department, and can only draw reenforcements from elsewhere by making application through Washington, and as a demonstration, made upon any part of the old District of West Tennessee, might force me to withdraw a large part of the force from the vicinity of Vicksburg, I would respectfully ask if it would not be policy to combine the four departments in the West under one commander. As I am the senior department commander in the West, I will state that I have no desire whatever for such combined command, but would prefer the command I now have to any other that can be given.

I regard it as my duty to state that I found there was not sufficient confidence felt in General McClernand as a commander, either by the army or navy, to insure him success. Of course all would cooperate to the best of their ability, but still with a distrust. This is a matter I made no inquiries about, but it was forced upon me. As it is my intention to command in person, unless otherwise directed, there is no special necessity of mentioning this matter; but I want you to know that others besides myself agree in the necessity of the course I had already determined upon pursuing. Admiral Porter told me he had written freely to the Secretary of the Navy, with the request that what he said might be shown to the Secretary of War.


General Gorman had gone up White river, with most of his force, taking a great deal of the river transportation with him. I find great difficulty in getting boats to transport the troops. With the orders I gave, however, to release boats as fast as they can be dispensed with, I hope to remedy all difficulty of this kind.

General Halleck to General Grant.—(letter.)

Washington, D. C., January 21, 1863.
The President has directed that as much of Arkansas as you may desire to control, be temporarily attached to your department. This will give you control of both banks of the river.

In your operations down the Mississippi, you must not rely too confidently upon any direct cooperation of General Banks and the lower flotilla, as it is possible that they may not be able to pass or reduce Port Hudson. They, however, will do every thing in their power to form a junction with you at Vicksburg. If they should not be able to effect this, they will at least occupy a portion of the enemy's forces, and prevent them from reenforcing Vicksburg. I hope, however, that they will do still better, and be able to join you.

General Halleck to General Grant.-(telegram.)

Washington, D. C., January 25, 2.40 P. M.
Forts Henry and Donelson have been transferred to the Department of the Cumberland.

General Grant to General Halleck.—(Cipher telegram.)

Memphis, Tenn., January 25, 1863.
I leave for the fleet at Vicksburg to-morrow. Since leaving there (one week ago) I have not heard one word from them. The constant rains and tremendous rise in the river may operate against us for the time being.


General Halleck to General Grant.—(Cipher telegram.)

Washington, D. C., January 25, 1863, 10.40 P. M.
Direct your attention particularly to the canal proposed across the point. The President attaches much importance to this.

General Grant to General Halleck.—(Cipher telegram.)

near Vicksburg, Miss., January 29, 1863.
Water in the canal is five feet deep, and river rising. There is no wash, however, and no signs of it enlarging. I will let the water in from higher up and try the effect. I have ordered troops from Helena, escorted by a gunboat, the whole in charge of Colonel Wilson, Topographical Engineers, to cut the levee across Yazoo pass, and to explore through to Coldwater, if possib

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