for the transport of troops across the river to meet our troops. No resistance has been offered to them, however, except from the batteries at the fort. To-day I expect a report of the final result of this reconnaissance.
The force of the enemy on the river front is not less than thirty or forty guns, in strong works and position. The land fortifications extend from near Ross Landing to the creek, above the river batteries, encompassed by strong field works and defended at intervals with field artillery and a garrison of not less than 20,000 men. Its strength is, however, in the power of concentrating troops at this pint. The utmost force I can bring to its assault or investment will not exceed 17,000 men, without abandoning to the enemy vital points on the Lower Mississippi. My conviction is now more firm than before this reconnaissance, that it is not in the power of the troops under my command to carry this position by assault or siege without re-enforcements. It is universally represented by the enemy to be stronger than Vicksburg. I cannot doubt that, in itself, it is so. My command is ready to make the assault, but my conviction is strong that it would end in the useless sacrifice of my men. We are now in the best possible position to make a successful attack, if in sufficient force. The Hartford and Albatross can enfilade the works from above; the balance of the fleet from below. A heavy battery could now be easily planted on the opposite side in front of these works. The rive batteries could not resist the concentrated fire. A land force moving at the same time upon the rear equal to the garrison, and capable of meeting promptly any re-enforcements, would complete the certain reduction or evacuation of the post. This requires re-enforcements here and the co-operation of the forces near Vicksburg, which I hope may be secured. This is worth nd earnest effort.
I can but repeat the opinion expressed in previous dispatches, that the freedom of the Mississippi is the suppression of this rebellion. the objects expected to be obtained by running the batteries were: First, communication with the land and naval forces at Vicksburg; second, defeating the construction of new batteries between Port Hudson and Vicksburg; third, cutting off supplies by the Red River; fourth, obtaining an opportunity to enfilade the Red River batteries from above; and, fifth, the destruction of the rebel steamers in the river.
All these objects have been successfully accomplished except the last, and, with exception of the loss of the Mississippi, none of the anticipated injuries have been sustained. The complete success of the expedition may be thus justly assumed.
General Weitzel informs me that the Queen of the West and the Webb are at Butte-a-la-Rose, on the Atchafalaya, threatening an attack upon his position (the inclosed dispatches show the position he occupies).
It is impossible to send the gunboats he desires immediately, but in all other respects he will be strengthened at once. It is my purpose to commence without delay military movements upon the Atchafalaya or the Teche, which wee interrupted by the naval and land expeditions to Port Hudson I beg leave to assure you that no time will be lost hereafter in action . My troops are in good health and in the best spirits and condition. Insufficient land and water transportation and the weakens of the cavalry are the only obstacles that we shall now encounter, and these are being strengthened every day.
In our movements beyond the lined of the army I have appropriated all the products of the country to the use of the Government, not allowing speculators to followed us and buy and sell under cover of our forces. In the recent expedition to Port Hudson not less than $300,000 worth