LS, ibid. O.R., I, xvii, part 1, 699; O.R. (Navy), I, xxiv, 114. For reports of Arkansas Post, see letter to Col. John C. Kelton, Feb. 7, 1863.
Head Quarters, Dept. of the Ten.
Memphis Ten. Jan. 13th 1863
MAJ. GEN. MCCLERNAND,
COMD. G Ex. ON VICKSBURG
On the 11th inst. I wrote to you disapproving of the diversion of your expedition from the main object but owing to the difficulty of geting a convoy the dispatch has not yet got off I am in receipt of yours of same date and have forwarded it to Washington. 1
I cannot tell positively what is best for you to do but unless there is some object not visible at this distance your forces should return to Millikin's Bend or some point convenient for operating on Vicksburg and where they can cooperate with Banks should he come up the river. Banks was in New Orleans on the 16th of December and under orders to push up the river with all possible dispatch. What difficulties he may have had to encounter below I do not know but understand that Port Hudson has been made very strong. Should he get past that place however it is our duty to be prepared to cooperate.
One Brigade assigned to the Div. of Morgan L. Smith, goes down to join you at the same time with this. I understand also that there are still other forces coming down the river with the same destination, but of this I am not officially informed. I will still further reinforce with two Divisions from here unless the next few days prove it to be unnecessary.
The transports in the river available for moving troops is becoming very limited in consequence of the great number now