War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0279 Chapter XXVII. PORT HUDSON, LA.

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Fleet still below, firing at long range at supply boats yesterday. I keep can only use one landing and unloading is necessarily slow, but I keep a detail day and night.

Shall I send a boat up Big Black?

FRANK. GARDNER.

Lieutenant-General PEMBERTON.

PORT HUDSON, March 26, 1863.

Enemy's fleet fire at us occasionally. The troops have burned houses on west side of river; on this side have gone back to near Baton Rouge. More cavalry is greatly needed to keep the enemy in check. Corn here about 30,000 bushels.

FRANK. GARDNER,

Major-General.

Lieutenant-General PEMBERTON.

HEADQUARTERS,

Port Hudson, La., March 27, `863.

COLONEL: The enemy commenced landing troops on the west bank of the river below this point on the 17th instant. I cut the levee above ward I was informed that he had passed a small force of cavalry above the slough, and I ordered a battalion to be ready to pass over above, but the same afternoon the enemy succeeded in obtaining accurately the range of the upper steamboat landing, which compelled me to send the boats up Thompson's Creek to unload. This occasioned a delay, and next day the citizens informed me that the enemy had passed a large force beyond the slough, and I gave up my expedition to the west and afterward they came to me by committees to urge the sending a force on the west side. I did not feel justified in doing so under the circumstances, although I was informed that the enemy were committing great depredations. They re-embarked yesterday and send their mortar-boats down the river.

I have no information to-day whether they left a small force of cavalry or not. It they have done so it will require cavalry to look after them, and I cannot spare any.

The whole force of the enemy except four vessels has gone back to Baton Rouge. My latest information does not give any indications as yet of any other move. I have sent Colonel Simonton with one regiment, a battery, and a squadron of cavalry to Tangipahoa, in accordance with telegraph from the lieutenant-general commanding.

A dispatch from Colonel Miller yesterday says the enemy, about 1,500, are fortifying at Ponchatoula.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

FRANK. GARDNER,

Major-General, Commanding.

Lieutenant Col. J. R. WADDY,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Jackson, Miss.