or removing the material. We hold the key of the position. Among the evidences of our victory are 2,000 prisoners, two transports, and twenty guns (including one piece of Valderde Battery) taken, and three gunboats and eighth transports destroyed.
If the Government will send 20,000 more troops here I will take Port Hudson at once. If it will send the iron-clads that wee engaged at Charleston I will take Mobile, hold its forts, and close its harbor against the commerce that now pours into its gates in spite of the blockade.
Whether General Grant's forces join me or not, i hope you will at least lend me a sufficient force from the Department of the south to decide matters finally in this department. I can send them back, if necessary, as soon as it is done. If the necessary means re given at once the opportunity for opening the Mississippi is in our hands.
I hope to be able to send a detailed report of our operations by the next mail.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.
[Inclosure No. 1.]
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
Before Vicksburg, Miss, March 23, 1863.
Major General N. P. BANKS,
Comdg. Dept. of the Gulf, Port Hudson, La.:
GENERAL: Your communication of the 13th instant, per Admiral Farragut, was duly received. The continuous high water and the nature of the country almost precluding the possibility of landing a force on the east bank of the Mississippi anywhere above Vicksburg had induced the hope that you would be able to take Pot hudson and move up to Black River. By the use of your transports I could send yo all the force you would require.
Finding the canal commenced here last summer by General Williams, I have prosecuted that work, and would before this have had it completed to the width of 60 feet but for the heavy rise in the river, breaking in the dam across the upper end. It is exceedingly doubtful if this canal can be made of any practical use, even if completed. The enemy have established a battery of heavy guns opposite the mouth of the canal, completely command it for one-half its length.
Soon after taking command here I conceived the idea of getting possession of the Yazoo river by the Way of Moon Lake and Yazoo Pass. Five gunboats were garnished for this expedition, and I sent in addition a division of troops, to which has since been added considerable re-enforcements. This enterprise promised most fairly, but for some cause our troops and boats delayed so as to give the enemy time to fortify. My last information from this command was to the 17th. They were at Greenwood, on the Yazoo, a fortified place, and had abandoned all idea of getting past until they could receive additional ordnance stores. By a prompt movement Yazoo City could have been captured opposition.
Admiral Porter, with five gunboats, and General Sherman, with a division of troops, are now attempting to get into the Yazoo by