Head Quarters, Dept. of the Ten.
Before Vicksburg, March 29th 1863.
ADMIRAL D. D. PORTER,
COMD. G MISS. SQUADRON,
I am about occupying New Carthage with troops, and opening the Bayous from here to that place sufficiently for the passage of flats, a number of which I have ordered from St. Louis. With this passage open I can run the blockade with steamers sufficient to land troops, with the aid of flats, either at Grand Gulf or Warrenton which ever seemed most promising. Under these circumstances is it not absolutely essential that Warrenton & Grand Gulf should be so controlled by gunboats as to prevent further fortifications ?
It looks to me Admiral as a matter of vast importance that one or two vessels should be put below Vicksburg both to cut off the enemies intercourse with the West bank of the river entirely, and to ensure a landing on the East bank for our forces if wanted.
Will you be good enough Admiral to give this your early consideration and let me know your determination. Without the aid of gunboats it will hardly be worth while to send troops to New Carthage or to open the passage from here there:Preparitory surveys for doing this are now being made.
I am Admiral, very respectfully
your obt. svt.
U. S. GRANT
ALS, DNA, RG 45, Correspondence of David D. Porter. O. R., I, xxiv, part 3, 151-52; O. R. (Navy), I, xxiv, 517. On March 29, 1863, Act. Rear Admiral David D. Porter, "Yazoo River," wrote to USG. "I am ready to cooperate with you in the matter of landing troops on the other side, but you must recollect that when these gun-boats once go below we give up all hopes of ever getting them up again. If it is your intention to occupy Grand Gulf in force, it will be necessary to have vessels there to protect the troops, or quiet the fortifications now there.