War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0076 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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for either marching or fighting, and the spirit of the troops is all that could be desired. The labor on Pride's cut-off is pushed forward with energy, and everything about it continues to be encouraging. The road to Richmond and New Carthage is overflowed to some extent, but is not rendered impassable.

C. A. DANA.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

MILLIKEN'S BEND, La., April 17, 1863-10 a. m.,

VIA MEMPHIS, TENN., April 24.

Admiral Porter's squadron cast loose from its moorings in mouth of Yazoo just before 10 o'clock last night, and dropped down the Mississippi darkly and silently, showing neither steam nor light save occasionally a signal astern, where the enemy could not see it. The vessels moved at intervals of about 200 yards, the Benton leaving, the rest following, as pointed out in my dispatch of yesterday, save that the Tuscumbia went instead of the De Kalb, and closed the column, having the three transports immediately before her. The most of the gunboats had already doubled the tongue of land which stretches in front of Vicksburg when there was a flash from the enemy's upper batteries, and then for an hour and a half the cannonade was terrific, raging incessantly along the line of about 4 miles in extent. I counted five hundred and twenty-five discharges, while early in the action the enemy lit a bonfire in front of Vicksburg to light up the scene and direct his fire.

About 12. 45 a. m. a steamer, which proved to be the Henry Clay, also took fire and burned for three-quarters of an hour, but I rejoice to report this was the only vessel we lost; that the gunboats all passed down uninjured, the Benton alone of the squadron being hit, and she only by a single ball, which killed 1 man and wounded 3 others. Not another gunboat was touched, and only one hit (the Forest Queen, transport), and this did her no serious damage. The Henry Clay was lost by being abandoned by her through safely. After they had fled in the yawls, the cotton bales on her deck took fire, and one wheel became unmanageable. The pilot then ran her aground, and got upon a plank, on which he was picked up 4 miles below. I have the facts from an officer of Quinby's DIVISION. Sherman was aboard the Benton after she had got through. The substance of his personal statement will be forwarded by General Grant to General Halleck along with this dispatch, and will correct any errors in my report.

Our new batteries were ordered to open on the public buildings of Vicksburg at daylight this morning. McPherson arrived here last night with Logan's DIVISION. General Grant is just starting for New Carthage. I go with him.

C. A. DANA.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

MILLIKEN'S BEND, April 20, 1863. (Received April 24.)

General Grant went to New Carthage on the 17th, returning on the 18th. Found Admiral Porter's squadron there, all in fighting condition,