March 26th 1863
Should twelve to fifteen small boats be required at the foot of the Canal to-night, to be taken below to be used in landing troops at Warrenton, can they be got from you? I expected to get them from Gen. Ellet and only found out after dark that they could not. I then tried the transport fleet and found their yawls had all been taken for Army purposes.
Thus not knowing that small boats would be required the expedition failed one day. The Rams failing to get through, safely, and obviating the necessity of small boats, another day was lost and now a third by relying upon Gen. Ellet and the transport fleet for these boats.
It may all be providential however and I shall expect a change of apparent luck soon.
Very Truly yours
U. S. GRANT
To Admiral D. D. Porter
Comd.g Miss. Squadron
ALS, MoSHi. On March 26, 1863, Act. Rear Admiral David D. Porter, Yazoo River, wrote to USG. "We have the boats you desire, but I should not have a boat left for the vessels—the boats of the fleet above were all smashed up. You can have what there is if you really desire it, but my advice is not to use a boat, the soldiers cannot manage them in the stream, and it will give the timid a chance to keep out of fire. I would advise that all the troops be carried over in the steamers and that the Hartford engage the batteries lying close to the bank and silence them, which she can easily do. I think this a risky affair, for if anything should occur to the Hartford, the landing party will be captured—still I am ready to send the boats if you wish them." ALS, USG 3.