do nothing here now, and must according to present pregnant indications be driven away by high water in a few hours." LS, DNA, RG 393, Dept. of the Tenn., Letters Received. McClernand's first letter of Feb. 1 led to USG's letter of that date to Col. John C. Kelton; the second received no written response. On Feb. 2, McClernand sent a copy of the second letter to President Abraham Lincoln. ALS, DLC-Robert T. Lincoln. See letter to Maj. Gen. John A. McClernand, Feb. 18, 1863.
Young's Point, La Jan 31st 1863.
17TH OHIO INF'TY VOLS.
You will proceed on Steamer to Millikens Bend; and explore the system of Bayous from that point to Carthage, 1 with a view of determining the practicability of turning sufficient water from, the Mississippi through that way to navigate with our fleet.
It is not expected that you will do any work but ascertain about the amount that will have to be done to effect the object.
You will want to take with you one or more light yaul-boats, which can be carried by your men from the river to the water in the Bayou, and over any dry places you may encounter.
At Millikens Bend you will take Big Bayou pass, through that into Willow Bayou thence into Roundaway Bayou and through Bayou Vidal to the Mississippi River at Carthage.
You will take every precaution against surprise by small bodies of the enemy that you may encounter by the way.
U S GRANT
Copies, DLC-USG, V, 18, 30; DNA, RG 393, Dept. of the Tenn., Letters Sent. John W. Cornyn was appointed capt., 78th Ohio, as of Jan. 11, 1862. On Feb. 5, 1863, Cornyn wrote to USG. "In accordance with your instructions of the 31st ultimo, I proceeded with 300 men on steamer Diligent to Milliken's Bend, and landed at Buckson's plantation. I here found on inquiring that Big Bayou was 3 miles distant, and that it ran much nearer the river at the Omega plantation. I re-embarked on the steamer, and passing up to that point found the head of the bayou; and on inquiry learned that boats of no description could be used in it.