War of the Rebellion: Serial 025 Page 0883 Chapter XXIX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

self and all those about me, and we predicted the best results at Vicksburg from seeing things commence so auspiciously. The landing at Johnson's place, and the taking position under the hills of Vicksburg, are all matters you will find mentioned in my report, and as it was all written previous to any attack on you by the press, and merely in accordance with my duties, no one can suppose me influence by what has since taken place.

As to the Arkansas Post affair, it originated with yourself entirely, and you proposed it to me on the night you embarked the troops, and before it was known you had been relieved and that General McClernand had arrived. Whatever disposition was made of the troops after lading, your plans, at least, were carried out, as far as the state so promptly, under adverse circumstances, and without any knowledge of the country, would have enabled you to cut off five times the number of the enemy had they been there.

In conclusion, general, permit me to say that I feel as indignant as you can be at the attack made on you. They would hardly be worth notice, except for the satisfaction of your friends. As I cam sure you have no political aspirations, you can well afford to pass without notice what is said by the press, which is not in all cases the most loyal. You possess in an eminent degree the confidence and love of your soldiers, who will follow you anywhere, and in saying that, I play you the highest compliment that can be paid a general.

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

DAVID D. PORTER,

Acting Rear-Admiral.

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]

UNITED STATES MISSISSIPPI SQUADRON,

Yazoo River, December 27, 1862.

Honorable GIDEON WELLES,

Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: This morning we commenced early the work of removing the torpedoes. The boats worked under brisk fire from the concealed riflemen in pits, but the enemy gradually receded before our vessels, and by 3 o'clock in the evening we had worked up to within half or three-quarters of a mile of the batteries, the strength of which it was desirable to feel. The army, in the mean time, advanced toward the heights. My object was to draw of a large portion of the troops from Vicksburg, to prevent our ascent of the Yazoo, by which we could throw troops on the Milldale road. At 2.30 the forts commenced firing briskly at our boats with eight heavy guns, without driving them in. The way being apparently clear of torpedoes, the channel having been thoroughly dragged with all sorts of contrivances, Lieutenant-Commander Gwin, at 3 o'clock, advanced to the farthest point where the boasts had finished their work, which was about 1,200 yards from the forts, and opened his batteries. The other vessels were also ordered up, all of which were lying close behind. The river was, however, too narrow at that point to get even two vessels abreast, and the Benton bore the brunt of the fight. It lasted two hours, during which time the Benton was much cut up, but nothing happened to impair her efficiency. Her armor was shot-proof when it was struck, except on deck, but still, I regret to say, there were some serious casualties. Lieutenant-Commander Gwin was most seriously wounded by a rifle-shot striking him on the right breast and carrying away the muscle of the right arm. He