The court, after mature deliberation on the testimony adduced, finds the accused as follows:
Of the specification, "Not guilty."
Of the CHARGE, "Not guilty."
And does therefore acquit the accused, Captain Alexander Grant, serving with the gunboat Cotton.
II. The proceedings, findings, and sentences in the foregoing cases of Brigadier General H. H. Sibley, Provisional Army of the Confederate States, and Captain Alexander Grant, serving with the gunboat Cotton, are approved, and they will be released from arrest.
III. The general court-martial, of which Major General John G. Walker is president, is dissolved.
By command of Lieutenant General E. Kirby Smith:
S. S. ANDERSON,
UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,
New Orleans, December 18, 1863 [1862.]
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:
SIR: My command reached this port Sunday evening, 14th instant, after a voyage of ten days. It would be impossible to find a better passage at this season of the year. The transports which preceded and those which followed had some rough weather, but without disaster, except in one instance.
The steamer M. Sanford was reported lost, with all her crew and passengers. It was, however, a false report; she struck upon a Florida reef, but got off again without loss. All the troops are well, with exception of General Emory's command, which has shows cases of small-pox, measles, and fever, which they brought from Newport News and Fortress Monroe. My intercourse with General Butler has been pleasant, and he has cordially assisted me in entering upon my duties.
There is much excitement in regard to public affairs, but I am unable to decide upon the merits of the questions connected with the administration. It is not my purpose to enter upon subjects which belong exclusively to my predecessor. The exposition of his measures made to me by General Butler was very satisfactory.
It appears from information received here that the rebels occupy Baton Rouge with about 500 men . They have fortified Port Hudson, 20 miles above, where there is a force of about 12,000. A vessel of Admiral Farragut's fleet was fired upon a few days since from a battery above Port Hudson. At Vicksburg, it is represented here, there is a large force, and a determined resistance is expected. Reports have been received here that Commodore Porter had attacked the works at Vicksburg, but nothing is known with certainty. On Tuesday morning, the transports which had arrived up to that time, without disembarkation, sailed directly for Baton Rouge, with 8,000 or 10,000 men, under command of General Grover. He has doubtless occupied Baton Rouge before this. As soon as the forces here can be consolidated with the new troops, we shall attack Port Hudson, and open communication with the forces above Vicksburg. I shall send one regiment, possibly two, to occupy the island of Galveston, Texas, in a week or