In regard to Pensacola, your views are fully approved. The town itself is a matter of very little importance to us, and it would be useless to expose anything more than a police force there. Such a force could be withdrawn in case of any danger. On consultation with the Engineer Office, I am satisfied that your line of defense must be from Fort Barrancas to the redoubts; of course, most of your fives should be concentrated there.
In regard to the Mississippi River, I have very seriously apprehensions of the results of the capture by the enemy of the Queen of the West and the Indianola They can do not great harm to General Grant and Admiral Porter, but may to you and Admiral Farragut. I have urged the Navy Department to send the latter more vessels. I believe they are waiting for further dispatches from Admiral Porter.
Operations at Vicksburg have been greatly delayed, but from last accounts (February 27) are now progressing more favorably.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. HALLECK,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, 19TH A. C. No. 20. New Orleans, March 6, 1863.
Brigadier General George L. Andrews is announced as chief of staff at headquarters, and will be obeyed and respected accordingly.
By command of Major-General Banks:
RICH'D B. IRWIN,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, La., March 7, 1863.
Commander-in-Chief of the Army:
GENERAL: The movement to which my last dispatch referred has been delayed by an accident which temporarily disabled two steamers of the admiral's fleet. They are now nearly repaired, and it will be executed at once. This movement involves important considerations, both of advantage and risk. If the batteries are run successfully, he can leave in conjunction with Admiral Porter's vessels, a force above Port Hudson to blockade effectually the Red River and the region of supplies for vote of the rebel posts on the Mississippi. If any serious disaster befalls him, such as the destruction or capture of his vessels, it perils our position here. Nevertheless, he thinks it imperative to make the attempt, as the most effectual blow that can be struck against the Confederacy, and feels very deeply the necessity, as well all do, of encountering any risk if important results can, by any change, be accomplished. The capture of the iron-clad Indianola has greatly strengthened the necessity for action without delay.
I desire to repeat what I have said in previous dispatches of the inefficiently of the naval force at this point. there are many, very many, assailable pints for the enemy, and many vulnerable points of attack upon his positions for us, but we are not strong enough either in naval or transport vessels frog the necessary duty of simultaneous attack and defense anywhere. The movement up the river now contemplated exposes us to the greatest danger from this weakness. Under