Guard against surprise, and be prepared to hold your positions at all hazards.
U. S. GRANT
Copies, DLC-USG, V, 18, 30; DNA, RG 393, Dept. of the Tenn., Letters Sent. For a similar message, see telegram to Brig. Gen. Mason Brayman, Jan. 2, 1863.
Jany 27th 7. P. M. 
MAJ GEN H. W. HALLECK
GEN IN CHIEF
News just received from Vicksburg says water now in old canal—and rising rapidly. In a short time our Batteries of Parrott guns will command the river below town. Vicksburg papers say that Gen'l Banks is fortifying Baton Rouge. I hold two Divisions here ready to reinforce the Expedition as soon as wanted also Gormans forces.
U S. GRANT
Maj Genl Comdg
Telegram received, DNA, RG 107, Telegrams Collected (Bound); copy, ibid., Telegrams Received in Cipher. O.R., I, xxiv, part 1, 10. On Jan. 25, 1863, 10:40 P. M., Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck had telegraphed to USG. "Direct your attention particularly to the canal proposed across the point the President attaches much importance to this." ALS (telegram sent), DNA, RG 107, Telegrams Collected (Bound); telegram received, ibid., Telegrams Collected (Unbound) ; ibid., RG 94, War Records Office, Military Div. of the Miss. O.R., I, xxiv, part 1, 10.
Since a correspondent noted that USG arrived at Helena, Ark., about 5:00 P. M., Jan. 27, the telegram to Halleck must have been prepared much earlier than the time shown on the telegram received. Letter of "Bas," Helena, Jan. 27, in Missouri Democrat, Feb. 3, 1863.