Head Quarters, Dept. of the Ten.
Memphis Ten. Jan. 10th 1863
REAR ADMIRAL D. PORTER
COMD. G MISS. FLEET,
I send Col. Bissell, of the Eng. Regt. of the West, to report to you for the purpose of surveying the ground and determining the practicability of reopening the Canal across the tongue of land oposite Vicksburg. 1
Any suggestions from you I would be most happy to receive.
I have not had one word from the expedition which left Helena on the 22d of Dec. officially, since that time and am consequently very much at a loss to know how to proceed. I am however preparing to reinforce Gen. McClernand and can do it to the extent of 20000 men certainly and possibly more.
By the same boat that takes this I am writing to Gen. McClernand and expect to get such reply as will enable me to act more understandingly.
I am Admiral, very respectfully,
your obt. svt.
U. S. GRANT
ALS, MdAN. O. R., I, xvii, part 2, 551-52; O.R. (Navy), I, xxiv, 149. On Jan. 14, 1863, Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman endorsed this letter to Act. Rear Admiral David D. Porter. "am much obliged for the perusal of this letter. Full Reports were made to Gen Grant via Columbus, but his Rail Road was cut and he lost his mail. What we need at Vicksburg is a force approaching from the Rear. We have as many men as we can manage afloat. Bissell is an excellent man for the Canal." AES, MdAN.