this boat was also somewhat delayed by carrying General McClernand's wife, with her servants and baggage. But though the whole of A. J. Smith's troops had not yet arrived, and though Hovey's DIVISION, encamped at the junction of Bayou Vidal and Bayou Gilbert, and ordered to march to Perkins' by land, the bayous having been bridged, was also still absent, there were already encamped at the points of embarkation quite as many troops as all the transports could carry. Still, at dark last night, when a thunder-storm set in, not a single man or cannon had been embarked. Instead of this, McClernand held a review of a brigade of Illinois troops at Perkin's about 4 p. m., when Governor Yates made a speech. At the same time a salute of artillery was fired, notwithstanding that positive orders had repeatedly been given to use no ammunition for any purpose except against the enemy. What course General Grant will take under these circumstances I have no idea, as I have had no opportunity of conversing with him since yesterday forenoon.
McPherson arrived here last night with Quinby's DIVISION, McArthur's, forming his rear, being at Richmond. His whole corps would have been here to-day, but its movements have been arrested until General McClernand's can be got out of the way. General Thomas told me this morning that he had no doubt that McPherson's corps could now be embarked sooner than General McClernand's. General Grant proposed to Admiral Porter yesterday to make a feint attack against Vicksburg at Haynes' or Snyder's Bluffs. I believe the feint was not decided on. General Grant also asked Admiral Porter to send a gunboat up the Big Black to prevent the rebels from completing scows at a ferry some 5 miles above Grand Gulf, but Admiral Porter declined because it was too risky.
From Milliken's Bend we hear that there is now only 6 inches of water in Pride's canal at the point where it embouches in the bayou. The dredges are at work, but whether they can dig as fast as the river falls is a question. The boats and barges previously got into the bayou will get through, however. The road hence to Milliken's Bend is somewhat injured by last night's rain and cut up by wagons, but can be depended on for transportation unless we should have very heavy storms. If they should come upon us as unexpectedly as the fall of the river has done, the army will be in straits.
C. A. DANA.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
HARD TIMES LANDING, La., April 29, 1863-5 p. m.,
VIA MEMPHIS, May 5-11 a. m. (Received May 8-2. 45 p. M.)
My last dispatch was dated on April 27. On the morning of that day General Grant went from Smith's plantation down to New Carthage and wrote to McClernand a very severe letter, which he did not send on discovering that at last the transport steamers and barges had during the previous night been concentrated for use. He spent the day there in completing the preparations for embarking, and on the morning of the 28th the DIVISIONS of Osterhaus and Carr were embarked, in all a little more than 10,000 troops. This force not being deemed sufficient for the attack on Grand Gulf, the troops were brought down to this place, and Carr's men and part of Osterhaus' debarked in order that
6 R-VOL XXIV, PT. I