War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0692 W.FLA., S.FLA., S.MISS., LA., TEX., N.MEX. Chapter XXVII.

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HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,

Baton Rouge, March 13, 1863.

BrigadierGeneral THOMAS W. SHERMAN,

Commanding, &c., New Orleans:

The commanding general directs me to inform you that the fleet passed up this afternoon, the admiral intending to run by Port Hudson to-morrow morning or the following day, according to circumstances. Grover's and Emory's divisions marched this afternoon. Augur's division and headquarters will march in the morning. Colonel Chickering, Forty-first Massachusetts, will remain in command at Baton Rouge, with three regiments of infantry, two batteries, and a company of cavalry. The siege train, manned by the Twenty-first Indiana, will be placed in position on the river front. Our main object is to create a diversion in favor of the Navy, and it is not proposed to assault the enemy's works, but we will of course avail ourselves of any advantage that occasion may offer. If the admiral succeeds we shall open communication with him on the other side of the river.

Please inform General Weitzel of our movement. It is of course impossible to give you detailed instructions to provide against every event that may occur, but the commanding general relies fully upon your judgment and discretion in any emergency.

We have no information that would excite apprehension of a movement against New Orleans.

By command of Major-General Banks:

RICH'D B. IRWIN,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,

Baton Rouge, La., March 13, 1863.

Major General U. S. GRANT,

Commanding Department of the Tennessee:

GENERAL: Anticipating the success of Admiral Farragut's proposed attempt to run the enemy's batteries at Port Hudson and to open communication with you, I will avail myself of the opportunity to give you a statement of our position, force, and intentions.

We have at Baton Rouge a force of about 17,000 effective infantry and one negro regiment; one regiment of heavy artillery, with six light batteries; one 20-pounder battery; a dismounted company of artillery, and ten companies of cavalry, of which eight are newly raised and hardly to be counted on. Of this, three regiments of infantry, the heavy artillery (manning the siege train), the dismounted artillery, and one company of cavalry will remain at Baton Rouge.

Leaving this force to hold the position of Baton Rouge, we march to-day upon Port Hudson by the Bayou Sara road, to make a demonstration upon that work, for the purpose of co-operating in the movement of the fleet. The best information we have of the enemy's force places it at 25,000 or 30,000. This and his position precludes the idea of an assault upon our part, and accordingly the main object of the present movement is a diversion in favor of the Navy, but we shall of course avail ourselves of any advantage which occasion may offer.

Should the admiral succeed in his attempt I shall try to open communication with him on the other side of the river, and in that event