ton had been ordered by you to report to me for duty places me in a dilemma. Where can I assign him ? What can I assign him to ? True, nominally, I have the immediate command of all the forces operating on the Miss. river, but in fact you exercise immediate as well as general command over all except the two small and imperfectly organized divisions here. The commanders of these divisions having proved their merit and gained the confidence of their men I could not in my judgement on the eve of active operations in the face of the enemy, supercede them, or either of them, without jeopardising the public interest. I say this without intending any disparagement of Genl. H. —whom I understand to be a good officer. Hence, if after receiving this dispatch, you leave it to me to assign the Genl. I will send him to Helena if his rank will entitle him to assume command there— or if you intend that he should supercede either Genl. Smith or Genl. Osterhaus, here, please so order." ADfS, ibid.
Before Vicksburgh March 22nd 1863
MAJ GENL J B MCPHERSON
COMM'DG 17TH ARMY CORPS
It is now clearly demonstrated that a further force in by the way of Yazoo Pass can be of no service. The party that first went in have so delayed as to give the enemy time to fortify, I see nothing for it now but to have that force return the way they went in. I will let them try Greenwood a short time longer however and see too if Admiral Porter succeeds in reaching the Yazoo on his present route. In the meantime I want concentrated as near here as possible all the troops now scattered from Youngs Point toHelena You may take immediate steps to collect you forces. The Division of Gen J E Smith will belong to your Army Corps 1
U S GRANT