Before Vicksburgh, Feby 1st 1863.
BRIG GENL W. A. GORMAN
COMD'G DIST OF EAST ARK.
In view of the present rise in the river, making it possible that all the country will be overflowed, the troops from Helena designed to operate with this Army will not be required until further orders
It may become necessary also to move our forces from here to higher ground. To do this there is not sufficient transportation at present. You will therefore send down immediately, to report to Col. Parsons, Master of Transportation the Boats designed to move General Fisk's Brigade. 1
There should be no delay, as these Boats may be required as soon as they possibly can get here. Direct them to take on all the coal they can.
U. S. GRANT.
Copies, DLC-USG, V, 18, 30; DNA, RG 393, Dept. of the Tenn., Letters Sent.
On Feb. 1, 1863, Col. Lewis B. Parsons, Young's Point, wrote to USG. "Under your own or Genl. McClernand's orders I have within the last seven or eight days sent to Memphis six or seven boats loaded with sick, prisoners or animals requiring transportation. I gave orders in all cases, except one, to be sure to unload at Memphis & return immediately. It has been so customary to take boats without reference to what orders they had, that with the continued rise of the river I feel some anxiety in regard to their return lest they may be detained by the orders of some other officer; & would therefore suggest that an order be sent, on a tow boat which I will send to day, similar to thefollowing. ('Quartermasters at Helena & Memphis. The Strs 'Forest Queen,' Von Phul, J. C. Swan, City of Alton, Di Vernon, Warsaw, City of Memphis—Iatan, Nebraska, Roe & Jenny Deans, have been sent up from this fleet with orders to return immediately. as yet none of them have come back. The river-already very high —is still rising & threatens soon to inundate the whole country. It is therefore imperatively necessary that six or seven of these boats or a number of others eqivalent in capacity be sent down here immediately. If there are such at Helena or Memphis you will order them to take on board as soon as possible a sufficient quantity of of Coal & report here without delay; if not you will send down the first that come. By order of Maj Gen U. S. Grant'), As but twenty thousand