War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0026 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXVII.

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making the cut about 4 feet deep and 5 feet wide. The river itself will do the rest for us.

A large supply of spades and shovels have been sent for this purpose.

Report frequently.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

BENJ. F. BUTLER,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE,

Baton Rouge, La., June 12, 1862

Captain R. S. DAVIS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, &c., New Orleans:

SIR: Lieutenant Caldwell, of one of our gunboats, is just from above, on his way to New Orleans, reporting batteries at various points, he thinks chiefly movable batteries of field artillery, which will make our passage up to Vicksburg something to be won.

The flag-officer and myself concur in that gunboats alone will not suffice, and that the land forces where a landing is practicable, will have to carry the batteries by an attack in rear. We are to go up together as soon as I can get ready. The only transport now with me is the Laurel HIll, which is being loaded with thirty days' subsistence for 1,000 men. The other transports no doubt will arrive in rapid succession, and no time will be lost in embarking stores and troops.

The flag-officer does not concur in the advantage which possibly attaches to the project of sending troops in advance to make the cut opposite Vicksburg, saying that his gunboats will have to pass Vicksburg and take port on the upper side of the proposed cut before at landing of troops can be made there; otherwise the enemy's gunboats would sweep them off. In any event we have evidently work to do before we get there, and that we will first try to do.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. WILLIAMS,

Brigadier-General Volunteers, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE,

Below Vicksburg, July 4, 1862.

CAPTAIN: Leaving the Twenty-first Indiana Sixth Michigan, a section of Everett's battery, and Magee's cavalry, and taking with me the Thirtieth Massachusetts, Ninth Connecticut, Seventh Vermont, Fourth Wisconsin Regiments, Nims' battery, and two sections of Everett's, I left Baton Rouge in the morning of the 20th June, arrived off Ellis' Cliffs in the afternoon of the 22nd, where I found there gunboats awaiting my approach to cover the transports in passing the cliffs, and landed, so as to occupy all the roads leading from the cliffs to the interior and cut off two field guns reported to be in position on the cliffs. The Thirtieth Massachusetts and two guns of Nims' made a turning march of 8 miles, while the Fourth Wisconsin, with skirmish in advance followed by the Ninth Connecticut four guns of Nims' and two of Everett's, marched directly forward by the cliff road, leading to the battery and to Natchez. Soon the skirmishers of the Fourth Wisconsin came upon the abandoned battery, abandoned save by a gun-limber left behind in