War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0719 Chapter XXVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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the means for supplying at nominal expense to the Government a sufficient water transportation, which we never yet have had. The number of steamers suitable for the navigation of this department, all told, employed in public and private service, does not exceed twelve or fourteen at furthest. I need not say that fifty would into suffice the demand of the Government alone of we had them in our possession.

One of the gratifying results of this expedition is that it places within our control all the materials for building steamers of the character necessary for our use. We have lumber, mechanics, and machinery, a careful examination of the different establishments in the neighborhood of New Orleans having revealed something like twenty steam-engines in good condition, which can with little labor be adapted to the purposes of steamboat navigation. I shall ask of your department the privilege of putting these things together, declaring to you that it is indispensable to the public service and the movement of my troops. The singular formation of this country makes water and land transportation in equal strength necessary in all expeditions. It is impossible to move be land in such a manner that the enemy cannot cut off our communications by water, and to move by water that they cannot do the same by land. We have thus to guard ourselves and to support ourselves by supplying in equal degree land and water transportation.

I am reluctant to call upon the Government, as I know the extent of the demands made upon it, and hope I may be privileged to relieve myself of the almost unconquerable difficulties which have rested upon me from the moment of reaching New Orleans until now, by supplying at the lowest possible expense to the Government these pressing and imperative demands. The boats in our possession, both fort transport and war purposes, are sadly out of repair. I shall during the summer put them in good condition and relieve all our wants.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.

SPECIAL ORDERS,

HDQRS. OF THE ARMY, ADJT. GENERAL' S OFFICE, No. 206.

Washington, May 7, 1863.

I. Brigadier General C. P. Stone, United States Volunteers, will report in person without delay to Major General N. P. Banks, United States Volunteers, New Orleans, La., for assignment to duty in the Department of the Gulf.

* * * * *

By command of Major-General Halleck.

E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

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

Alexandria, May 8, 1863-2 p. m.

Colonel HOLABIRD:

SIR: Admiral Porter informs me that the shall be obliged to suspend operations in this quarter for want of coal. Let all coal for which transportation can be obtained be sent forward for the two fleets. Soft coal is necessary for Admiral Porter's fleet.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.

(Copy sent to Colonel Chandler, Brashear.)