For the canal project to succeed, we will need to raise the level of the river. I sent the following instructions to Gen. Gorman in Helena,
Send a stern wheel Steamer, with as many troops as it can conveniently carry, to the entrance of Yazoo Pass, for the purpose of cutting the levee and letting the water from the Mississippi in.
The GunBoat by which is sent will accompany the expedition. The party should remain at the Pass until they see the work effectually done, and then return to Helena.
I shall certainly not want Genl’ Fitch’s Brigade here for several days.
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 7, p 256
National Archives, RG 393, Dept. of the Tenn., Letters Received