already here and starts at once. The flats will also start to day. I expect the other Tugs were through the canal this morning if no bad luck has happened, and if so they should leave here tomorrow (Sunday) They went through the first lock in the Canal all right. You said nothing in your letter to Col Allen about any alterations, or how you desired the boats fitted up, but I have ventured to put on board some 80,000 feet of lumber with a large quantity of Nails Spikes Oakum &c &c to make floors, And have advised Mr Jameson (Col Reynolds Master Mechanic whom I judge Col Reynolds has sent for this purpose) to put Carpenters on and have boats all ready for service on arrival at Youngs Point. I have also sent a special agent to see that the flats Tugs &c go forward with the greatest possible dispatch. I regret to see by your letter to Col Allen that you were disappointed in the time of arrival of the small boats for the Yazoo expedition. Certainly not a moment was lost after getting your dispatch, not even to await your Messenger with instructions. Every boat suitable any where in this Department was seized, Agents dispatched to Galena and I went personally to Cincinnati. That Genl Meigs or Genl Rosecrans did not feel willing or deem it safe to let boats go, was something we could not help. But I am sure you will bear in mind that so great is the demand for all kinds of boats in various directions that it is not so easy as usual to meet demands. I think you will find the 'Little Giant' a good boat for a dispatch boat for your head quarters. I only got four Tugs; as you said four or five-and there were but four that it was believed would go through the Canal. Wishing you the most complete success, ... P. S— I could not get so large Yawls as I desired but got the largest and all I could find in Chicago or St Louis Col Swords telegraphed me there were none to be had in Cincinnati" LS, DNA, RG 393, Dept. of the Tenn., Letters Received. On April 12, Parsons telegraphed to USG. "All the boats on the way South. one (1) Tug here ready to start. the others are on the Ills Will send as soon as they arrive. Have written fully." ALS (telegram sent), ibid., RG 107, Telegrams Collected (Unbound); telegram received, ibid. ; ibid., RG 393, Dept. of the Tenn., Telegrams Received.
Head Quarters, Dept. of the Ten.
Before Vicksburg, March 27th 1863.
MAJ. GEN. H. W. HALLECK,
GEN. IN CHIEF, WASHINGTON,
All work, except repairing the crevasse in the Canal levee, has been suspended for several days, the enemy having driven the Dredges entirely out. The canal may be useful in passing boats through at night to be used below, but nothing further.