War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0731 Chapter XXVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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

Alexandria, May 13, 1863.

Admiral D. G. FARRAGUT:

In my note of yesterday the word "insanity" was written. It should have been "unwise." Nevertheless, do not withdraw the fleet from above Port Hudson; it is of vital consequence to us for the present. Its withdrawal would lose to us all that has been gained in this campaign from the passage of the fleet to this day, as it would reopen to Port Hudson the now closed avenue of supplies.

Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.

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

Alexandria, May 13, 1863.

Admiral D. G. FARRAGUT,

Commanding Fleet at New Orleans:

Our reconnaissances since my dispatch of yesterday show that it is practicable for us to join General Grant at Vicksburg. I shall make every sacrifice and hazard everything to effect this junction. My command will move to Simmesport to-day, making that the base of our operations, and transport the army to Grand Gulf by transports and by such naval vessels as can assist us. Unless its place can be supplied by an equally efficient force it will be impossible to withdraw the Hartford and the other vessels from above Port Hudson. If there is any disposition to evacuate Port Hudson our movement will compel it, until which it is indispensable that the supplies from this side of Red River should be cut off and that their communication with the country in the rear of their fortifications should also be restricted. General Augur will receive instructions to this end, and I most earnestly protest against the withdrawal of the Hartford until this is accomplished. I will keep you informed of our movements daily.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,

Alexandria, La., May 13, 1863.

General GRANT:

More complete investigation of the country on the Red and Mississippi Rivers leads me to believe that it is possible for me to join you. I shall make every sacrifice and hazard everything to accomplish this object. My advance will move to Simmesport, Red River, to-day. I hope to move my command from Simmesport by the aid of transports and naval vessels to Grand Gulf, in which event ten or twelve days will accomplish the movement.

I am now 350 miles distant from you. Nothing will be allowed to delay our movements. I will keep you advised of our progress from day to day. I can add about 12,000 to your column.

I have the honor to be, with much respect, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.