Head Quarters, Dept. of the Ten.
Memphis Ten. Jan. 20th 1863.
MAJ. GEN. H. W. HALLECK,
GEN. IN CHIEF, WASHINGTON,
I returned here last night from a visit to the expedition under Gen. McClernand. I had a conversation with Admiral Porter, Gen. McClernand and Gen. Sherman. The former and latter, who have had the best oportunity of studying the enemies positions and plans, agree that the work of reducing Vicksburg is one of time and will require a large force at 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 atal.
The enemy have the bluffs from Hains' Bluff, 1 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 runing 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 purpendicular to the stream and also to the crest of the hills oposite with a