WASHINGTON, D. C., April 29, 1863.
Commanding Department of the Gulf:
GENERAL: I have just received your dispatches Nos. 9 and 10,* and congratulate you on the success of your operations. I only regret that we cannot yet send you more troops to assist in your enterprises; but operations in other departments are such that none can at present be spared.
It is hoped, however, that General Grant will very soon be able to open communications with you. His last dispatches are very encouraging. A number of his boats has run the batteries at Vicksburg, and a portion of his troops were at New Carthage. By this time he is probably in possession of Grant Gulf.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. HALLECK,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,
New Orleans, April 29, 1863.
Commanding the Army of the United States:
GENERAL: Pending our efforts to open communication with General Grant, I visited New Orleans for one day. I desire to reduce the troops at this point to the lowest possible number consistent with the safety of the city, and I have also ordered one regiment from Key West to join my command in the Teche country. This will probably crease my force three regiments, which does not now exceed altogether 10,000 or 12,000 men. I have received a dispatch from Admiral Farragut, dated the 24th, a copy of which is inclosed, and hope to open communication with him immediately, and, through hi, with General Grant. Contrary to the tenor of my dispatch sent by the last mail, I believe, if General Grant can join us with one corps,as he promised, on the Red River, our movement across the Mississippi on Port Hudson by the Bayou Sara to be the most expeditions and certain. Our supplies, both of provisions and ammunition, which was the chief difficulty in my ming at the date of my last dispatch, can be furnished from Baton Rouge directly to thereat of Pot Hudson. Landing at Bayou Sara, Grant's forces and my own can easily maintain this line of communication, and more directly to the rear of Port Hudson. Landing at Bayou Sara, Grant's forces and my own can easily maintain theirs line of communication, and more directly to the rear of that post. I think you may be assured that the force at Port Hudson cannot maintain itself if this junction with Grant can be effected, and I doubt very much if it can be very long maintained against the movements of my own column. My advance brigade, under General Dwight, is now in the Alexandria road, 25 miles above Washington. We shall move forward as soon as communication can be opened and arrangements effect with the admiral and General Grant. I have the pleasure of informing you that the Atchafalaya is entirely at our disposal, and that the whole country to Alexandria is open to us. The most reliable information I have of Kirby Smith is that he was at Arkadelphia, Ark., with 5,000 to 6,000 men, badly armed, and with little