The man who made these charges I understand is a Chaplain at Helena, now postmaster. 3 This man has been reported to me almost daily since Helena has been added to my command for his very bad conduct. I am afraid that he has been instigated to these charges from any other than pure motives, and has probably been backed in them by others. No doubt your brother Gen. Washbur has written to you about matters at Helena. If so he has given you facts within his knowledge which have only been hearsay with me.
In regard to Gen. Steele I can say that I have known him for nearly twenty-four years. We were class mates at West Point. A truer man is not in the Army. He will support the Government and maintain the laws, in good faith without questioning their policy.
I hope the President & the Senate will be disabused of any opinion they may have formed prejudicial to Gen. Steele. I would ask, as a special favor to me that you help Gen. S. in this matter.
U. S. GRANT
ALS, DLC-Robert T. Lincoln.
Head Quarters, Dept. of the Ten.
Before Vicksburg, Feb. 16th 1863.
Respectfully forwarded to Hd Qrs. of the Army, Washington for the information of the Gen-in Chief.
There is a force now diligently at work clearing out Yazoo pass, and four light draft Gunboats, one iron clad, with the party.