Head Quarters, Dept. of the Ten.
Before Vicksburg, March 4th 1863.
COL. L. B. PARSONS,
A. Q. M. & SUPT. OF TRANSPTN,
The few fine days we have had has enabled the work to progress so rapidly on the Canal that before this reaches you it will be navigable for boats. Or at least I hope so. I want to loose as little time as possible now and send to you therefore for transportation.
In addition to all the transportation retained here I shall want steamers sufficient for 20 000 men; in addition too to the transportation required for any additional forces I may receive from St. Louis. I have ordered two Divisions from the District of Memphis in addition to all that were under orders when you was here.
As drawing this amount of transportation from regular trade may prevent the shipment of supplies as fast as required by the Army I would suggest that boats coming down be partially loaded with subsistence stores and forage. All the freight brought should be placed below deck so as to leave all the the upper part of the boats for troops.
I shall be glad to see you down here if your services can be spared from St. Louis.
It is tolerably well settled that the Indianolia was not only sunk but that before giving up she so disabled two of the enemies boats that they sunk also.
your obt. svt.
U. S. GRANT
ALS, Parsons Papers, IHi. On March 1, 1863, Col. Lewis B. Parsons, Memphis, wrote to USG. "I found letters from Saint Louis here directing me to bring up