can send them on a dark night. In about three or four days the moon will be more favorable for the purpose. I am using every exertion to forward supplies in wagons, and have sent to Memphis for more transportation. It should be here in a day or two.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. D. BINGHAM,
Lieutenant-Colonel, and Chief Quartermaster DEPT. Of Tenn.
Major General U. S. GRANT.
Number 2. Report of Lieutenant James Marquess, Twenty-seventh Missouri Infantry. [MAY -, 1863.]
I volunteered to run the blockade at Vicksburg on the steam tug George Sturgess, with two barges in tow, loaded with commissary stores and hay, on the night of the 3rd of May, 1863.
We left the steamboat A. D. Hines at Young's Point, La., about 1 a. m. May 4. Just below the mouth of the lower canal, the enemy opened fire on us with infantry from the Louisiana side of the river. We returned the fire, but could not see that they were making any attempt to board us. The musketry fire did us no damage. The Light guns of the batteries on the Mississippi side then commenced firing upon us. They struck us frequently with solid shot, but did no damage to either tug or barges. We were under a continual fire from this time until we reached the bend. We then ran under the range of a water battery. This battery opened fire on us, firing shells principally. The tug was struck by a shell from the battery, which exploded and blew her up, and set the tug and both barges on fire. I am under the impression that the shell that blew the tug up struck her on top of the boiler and exploded there. All the damage was done immediately. At the time the shell exploded on the tug, the barge on the Mississippi side of the river was in a sinking condition. The barge on the Louisiana side was uninjured up to the time of the explosion. The explosion of the shell made the fire general, both on the tug and barges. We were running at the rate of about 4 miles per hour when the first fire opened upon us. When the shell exploded, we were running at the rate of about 6 miles per hour, as near as I can judge.
After the explosion, the tug and barges being enveloped in flames, the men on board generally endeavored to make their escape from them. The enemy continued their fire, striking the barge next Vicksburg frequently. Their batteries appeared to play heavier at this time than they did before they struck the barges at all. Our men asked for no quarter for some FIFTEEN minutes after the explosion. talking distance of the enemy. After quarter was asked, there the time quarter was asked for, I was swimming toward the Louisiana shore, having made my escape from the tug on a plank, and was about 50 yards from the barges. Some of the men were on the barges at this time - cannot state now many -and several were in the water, swimming for the Louisiana shore. The rebels continued their fire on the men in the water after they had left the barges.
The enemy eventually ceased firing, and came to the assistance of the men in the water with two skiffs. One came out and picked up the