War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0243 Chapter XXVII. BAYOU PLAQUEMINE, ETC.

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tions with the east, compel him either to surrender or give us battle on our own grounds. For such an enterprise we can concentrate easily 15,000 men, and by straining every nerve and letting go for the time all other and minor considerations 25,000. Of the issue of such a contest I cannot permit myself to doubt.

Our news from Vicksburg leaves me somewhat uncertain as to the present operations of our forces at that point, especially in regard to the cut-off. At last accounts, through the Jackson papers, we had built coffer-dams at the ends of the canal and were engaged in further excavations.

We have a report in general terms of an important capture at the mouth of Red River.

If the canal succeeds I suggest that one of its first uses be to furnish us with light-draught river transports, drawing from 4 to 6 feet of water, with good engines. Boats that can move in either direction and with double and disconnecting engines will do the most service in these narrow and crooked bayous-too narrow for most vessels to turn and took crooked for some of them to move in. We also need several light-draught iron-clads.

Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief Washington, D. C.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, New Orleans, La., February 21, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith, for your information, copies of dispatches dated from the 13th to 19th instant inclusive, in regard to the attempt to open communication between Indian Village and Lake Chicot and the connecting operations.

Referring for a more detailed statement of our future operations to my other dispatches, forwarded by the same steamer, I need only say here that the attempt was prosecuted on the part of Brigadier-General Emory with zeal and energy and co-operated in by Brigadier-General Weitzel in the same spirit, and was only abandoned when conclusively shown, by exhaustive reconnaissances and actual trial, to be utterly impracticable, and that, nothing discouraged by the failure of this enterprise, we shall push the same operations with vigor by the other route, via Berwick Bay and Grand Lake.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.

Major GeneralH. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief Washington, D. C.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION,

Camp Stevens, La., February 13, 1863.

GENERAL: In accordance with your instructions of yesterday I proceeded to Brashear City last night. I found the Diana gone, under