War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0309 Chapter XXVII. OPERATIONS IN WEST LOUISIANA.

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received yesterday at 5 p. m. Captain Dunham left at 1 o'clock to urge forward the Rehance and Sachem. Commodore Morris promised me these boats should be dispatched immediately to Berwick Bay on April 28. They must be there. It so, they will join you to-morrow; if not, Captain Dunham will find them and push them forward. Commodore Morris promised me to send you coal transport at once. It is of vital importance that we occupy the Red River exclusively to Alexandria. Your boats and those at Grand Gulf will accomplish it beyond possibility o failure. I pray God they will send them to you. I cannot hold this country alone. Appeal to the boats at Grand Gulf again to assist us. If we hold the country west of the Mississippi, as we now can, Vicksburg and Port Hudson must fall. We want but the corps that General Grant promised to co-operate with us to do this effectually.

Butte-a-al-Rose was captured on April 20. Communication with you was not opened till May 2. There has been criminal delay in this. I spent twenty-four hours on the Atchafalaya myself to effect it at last.

I shall move a portion of my corps to Alexandria to-morrow (Monday) to ascertain the force and prospects of the enemy, following up with my whole force, ready to co-operate with you if you ascend the Red River, keeping in communication with you by the atchafalaya and Opelousas. Send me report of what yo can or hope to do by the Cornie, that takes this dispatch. It is not necessary for Kirby Smith to come down to the mouth of the Black River. He can cross from the Washita by a road from Monroe, another at Copenhagen, another at Harrisonburg.

Very truly, yours,

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure No. 3.]

HDQRS. DEPT OF THE GULF, 19TH ARMY CORPS,

Opelousas, La., may 3, 1863-12 noon.

Major-General GRANT:

DEAR SIR: If you can forward by the Black River the corps mentioned in your dispatches we can expel the enemy from Louisiana; and holding between us the country west of the Mississippi-you by the Tensas and Black and i by the Atchafalaya-Vicksburg and Port Hudson must fall. Both depend upon the country west. Can you not forward these troops now? It is of the most vital importance that we should be strong here now, when the enemy is panic-stricken.

I send information received here of the movements of Kirby Smith. Can you inform me of the forces in Arkansas? I shall move in the direction of Alexandria to-morrow morning, to ascertain the enemy's force and intentions in that quarter. This will determine my immediate movements.

Very truly, yours,

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.

No. 17.]HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GLUF, 19TH ARMY CORPS, Opelousas, La., May 4, 1863.

GENERAL: In the progress of this army I have deemed it expedient, in order to prevent the reorganization of the rebel army and to deprive