March 10th 1863.
HON. E. B. WASHBURN, M. C.
Now that Congress has adjourned I have thought possible you might want to make a visit to this part of the country. I need not assure you that I would be most glad to see you here and have you stay during the contest which will take place in the next thirty days from this writing. You will have time to join me if Mails are prompt. The canal through would have been a success by to-day but for the great rise of water. The river is now several feet above the whole country herabouts and our canal was dependentent for its success upon keeping the water out of it. The upper dam has broken and submerged things generally. To stop this off will take a number of days, but we will do it. In the mean time, so far as I now know, and have official reports, the Yazoo Pass expedition is going to prove a perfect success. This is highly important if for no other purpose than to destroy the transportation, and embryo Gunboats, the enemy had there. They have been working for one year on one boat, of gigantic proportions, up that stream.
Lieut. Col. Wilson, a young man of great merit, who has been put on Gen. Hunter's staff, but who was on mine as a Lieutenant and I objected to relieving until the present campaign is over, writes to Rawlins in a private letter that our success in geting into Yazoo Pass is due to the energy of C. C. Washburn. He felt an interest in the enterprise and took hold with a will, and with men, worthy of the object to be accomplished. I have ordered the Army Corps of McPherson through that way with additional forces making him effective men to the number of about 28,000. McPherson is one of my best men and is fully to be trusted. Sherman stands in the same catigory. In these two men I have a host. They are worth more than a full Brigade each.