of the 11th, and after a reconnaissance of the fort and a slight engagement between the Chillicothe and one of its heavy guns, the troops were landed.
The Chillicothe, on the afternoon of the 11th, from a position near the one indicated on the inclosed sketch,* opened her batteries upon the enemy, but in a very short time received a rifle shot in her left port, killing and wounding 14 of her crew.
On the night of the 11th, a cotton-bale battery was erected at the point marked, about 700 yards from the large gun, with a view to dismounting it, if possible. Having no siege guns, a naval 30-pounder battery was placed in it.
On the 12th, the naval forces not being ready to attack, nothing was done, but on that night (last) another 30-pounder was added to the battery; and this morning, at 10, it and the Chillicothe, Baron De Kalb, and the mortar-boat began the attack, but to-night we are not able to perceive any advantage gained.
Last night the enemy erected heavy traverses against our Parrott battery, so that it could do him no serious damage to-day.
The rebel position is a strong one by virtue of the difficulties of approach, though it is defended by only two guns of any weight, one a powerful rifle, 6. 4-inch bore. General Tilghman is in command. General Loring was there, but recently relieved. How many troops he has we cannot ascertain.
The Chillicothe has not stood the work well; that, too, at 1,100 yards. What may be the result at close range must depend entirely upon chance. I understand Commander Smith intends to go close up to-morrow, though I don't think he or his commanders are very sanguine.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. H. WILSON.
Major General U. S. GRANT, Commanding Department of the Tennessee.
MARCH 13,  - 11 p. m.
DEAR RAWLINS: I've just written a hasty note to the general; please apologize for its meager character. I've now been two days and entire nights without sleep, and am almost dead. The mail boat goes early to-morrow, so I can't give details; but my next will compensate.
I'm disgusted with 7,9,10 and 11 inch guns; to let one 6 1/2 -inch rifle stop our Navy. Bah! They ought to go up to 200 yards and "make a spoon or spoil a horn. " They are to attack to-morrow, but may not do much. I have no hope of anything great, considering the course followed by the naval forces under direction of their able and efficient Acting Rear-Admiral, Commodore, Captain, Lieutenant-Commandeer Smith. One chance shot will do the work; we may not make it in a thousand. No more troops are needed here till Greenwood is taken. I think we have troops enough to whip all the rebels in this vicinity if we can only get by the fort. One good gunboat can do the work, and no doubt; the two here are no great shakes.
We are stopped now certain. Ross has done all in his power to urge this thing forward. if what he suggested had been adopted, the iron-clads would have been here FIFTEEN days ago and found no battery of any importance. So much for speed.
Very truly, your friend,
J. H. WILSON.