HDQRS. SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, March 21, 1863.
Brigadier General J. G. LAUMAN:
See that your whole DIVISION has cartridge-boxes full of serviceable ammunition. Get them under arms every morning at break of day. Let no officer sleep outside of his command. Let your artillery be ready for service. Keep the entire force in battle order. At the shortest notice you may be unexpectedly called on, and I do not wish you to lose your old reputation.
S. A. HURLBUT.
P. S. -I will see you this evening.
WASHINGTON, March 21, 1863-10. 55 a. m.
Colonel ROBERT ALLEN, Saint Louis, Mo.:
General Wright has been directed to send to General Grant all the boats that can be spared. Colonel Parsons should consult with him.
H. W. HALLECK.
U. S. FLAG-SHIP HARTFORD,
Below Vicksburg, March 22, 1863.
Major General U. S. GRANT, Comdg. Dept. of the Tennessee:
GENERAL: I have just received your several communications and one for General Banks, which I hope to be able to convey to him in the course of a few days, and I will probably leave here to-morrow or the next day, at furthest.
I regret that I did not see Admiral Porter, as he no doubt would have sent down at least two of General Ellet's rams. The two rams and one iron-clad would make the blockade of Red River complete. There are only two boats fitted as rams, the Queen of the WEST and Webb. There are also the Beatty and another river boat fitted with cotton bales, for the purpose of boarding our gunboats, but carry no guns. The Webb is at Alexandria repairing, and the Queen of the WEST is now in the Atchafalaya. The moment we have the mouth of the river, they transport all their provisions for Vicksburg and Port Hudson across the river to Angola Place, and then they travel up to this place by land. I had hoped to have sufficient force not to disturb the admiral, but as my vessels failed to get past Port Hudson (in fact, I know one was burned, and I find it reported that another was sunk, but this last I do not believe), my services are so important below that I shall be compelled to return to New Orleans and the coast very soon. I still cherish the hope that I will find some one of my gallant fellows at the mouth of Red River, which will enable me to leave soon. I know that General Banks does not think he has sufficient force to attack Port Hudson with any chance of success.
Wishing you every success in your difficult operations, I again tender you my thanks, and remain, your obedient servant,
D. G. FARRAGUT.
BEFORE Vicksburg, March 22, 1863.
Major General N. P. BANKS, Comdg. Dept. of the Gulf:
Your communication of the 13th instant, per Admiral Farragut, was duly received.
The continuous high water and the nature of the country almost