published in some of the Northern papers, but the probability is that the rebels regard the publication as a blind to cover other designs. They believe Snyder's or Drumgould's Bluff is to be assaulted, and there and at Chickasaw Bayou they are making considerable preparations. They are, however, perfectly aware of the construction of our casemated batteries in front of the city, two of which were completed yesterday, while the other two are to be done to-night. They fired one gun at them yesterday, but evidently do not mean to waste ammunition on them. These batteries will open on the town whenever a feigned attack is made on Snyder's Bluff and whenever the gunboats go down.
Whether the enemy is strengthening Grand Gulf is not known. At last advises, J. S. Bowen's Missouri brigade was there, with one or two Louisiana companies. The forces are all safe out of Yazoo Pass. The weather is warm, but not uncomfortable. The health of the troops could hardly be better. Sterling Price and Kirby Smith were both at Little Rock on the 1st or 2nd. Price has offered pardon to all deserters who will return, and has gathered about 10,000 men.
C. A. DANA.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
MILLIKEN'S BEND, La., April 12, 1863,
VIA MEMPHIS, TENN., April 15-1 p. m. (Received April 15-9. 30 p. M.)
An important modification has resulted in the immediate plan of operations from a letter of General Halleck received on the 10th. It is now determined that after the occupation of Grand Gulf, instead of operating up the Big Black toward Jackson and the bridge in the rear of Vicksburg, the main force shall proceed against Port Hudson. Dispatches will at once be sent to General Banks inviting him to co-operate. There is still some uncertainty respecting the time if the movement. The original plan was to depend on the canal for transporting supplies, and, if necessary, troops also, but about Wednesday last this plan was changed so far as to determine to march the troops to New Carthage by way of Richmond, and preparations have been made to improve the road for that purpose by raising it above the expected level of the water, but it now appears that the canal and road will probably be overflowed, while a rain-storm which prevailed through last night made the road very muddy, and proved that a storm of twenty-four would render it impassable for days. It is probable, accordingly, that the canal will be employed for troops as well as supplies, and that the movement will be postponed till it can be fully opened. Colonel G. G. Pride estimates that another week will be requisite to let in the water, finish the dredging, and entirely clear out all the trees. The digging is already complete so far as it can be done by hand, and the clearing of the trees has been carried nearly to Richmond. The barges and tugs which are expected from Saint Louis will probably not arrive before the end of the present week. If, however, General Grant adheres to his later idea of marching some 30,000 men to New Carthage, the water cannot be let into the canal until they have gotten over the road. There will be no chance of their finding ground to camp on out of reach of the overflow that the opening of the canal will produce, but if this plan is adopted, Admiral Porter will take his vessels down within the next three days, and transports for the troops will also run the batteries, and the blow at