Mar 20 1863. I received the following request from Adm. Farragut. His assistance would be of considerable use in our operations on the Mississippi.
U. S. FLAG-SHIP HARTFORD, March –, 1863.
Major General U. S. GRANT,
Commanding United States Forces, Vicksburg:
SIR: I herewith transmit to you, by the hand of my secretary, a dispatch from Major General N. P. Banks. It was sent up to me the evening I was pass the batteries at Port Hudson.
Having learned that the enemy had the Red River trade open to Vicksburg and Port Hudson, and that two of the gunboats of the upper fleet had been captured, I determined to pass up, and, if possible, recapture the boats and stop the Red River trade, and this I can do most effectually if I can obtain from Rear-Admiral Porter or yourself coal for my vessels. By my trip up the river I have become perfectly acquainted with the enemy’s forces on the banks and his boats in the adjacent waters. I shall be most happy to avail myself of the earliest moment to have a consultation with yourself and Rear-Admiral Porter as to the assistance I can render you at this place; and, if none, then I will return to the mouth of Red River and carry out my original design.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. G. FARRAGUT.
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 7, p 443-4
O.R., I, xxiv, part 3, p 104-5