U. S. FLAG-SHIP HARTFORD, Below Vicksburg, March 23, 1863.
Major General U. S. GRANT, Comdg. Opposite Vicksburg:
DEAR GENERAL: I have just received your communication of this date, and am most happy to find that you concur in opinion with me as to
the necessity for destroying the casemated battery, now near completion at Warrenton.
I gave it a good shelling to-day, and will be ready to act in concert with your troops, and afford every facility in my power whenever they are ready. I will cover the landing, and in case the ram Switzerland comes down in time, she will be best suited to land the troops, but in case the ran does not get down in time, the Albatross will do it. I beg to assure you in conclusion that it will always afford me great pleasure to co-operate with you in any undertaking for the common good of our common country.
I am, very respectfully,
D. G. FARRAGUT.
BEFORE Vicksburg, March 23, 1863.
Admiral DAVID D. PORTER, Comdg. Mississippi Squadron:
Troops were promptly sent to Eagle Bend, on the Mississippi River, just where the bayou makes for the river to Steele's Bayou, and have made a good road across. It is not practicable to keep a large force on the land there, but there will be constantly as many as the boat suitable for navigating Steele's Bayou can ferry. I have no more boats of the class required here to send. The expedition by the way of Yazoo Pass seems to have come to a dead-lock at Greenwood. More forces are on the way to them, but I doubt of their being of any service. Colonel Wilson, in whose judgment I place great reliance, writes that land forces cannot act until the batteries are silenced. He thinks, too, that there has been unnecessary delay in reaching that point. By Admiral Farragut I received dispatches from General Banks. The general writes that he has advanced to near Port Hudson with all the forces he could spare for the expedition, about 20,000 of all arms. But as the enemy have 30,000 or over, and are fortified, he cannot expect to take the place. I have written back by Admiral Farragut, who will leave to-morrow, and report the position of our naval and military forces at this time and the practicability of sending an army corps by the way of Lake Providence to co-operate with him, but that we had not at present the transports or the gunboats suitable for this expedition. I have sent instructions to General Quinby, who now commands the Yazoo Pass expedition, to push down the river and destroy the enemy's fleet if possible, but to return immediately if he does not deem this practicable. He will confer with the naval commanders in this matter. It is now perfectly practicable for such vessels as we have in the Yazoo to get into Bayou Macon.
The latter has always been reported as a navigable stream. With the return of either of the expeditions now in or near the Yazoo, I could send such a force as to insure the fall of Port Hudson. With the fall of that place, Banks could move up with, says, 15,000 men, besides all I would send him, and take every point to Warrenton without detention. I submit this to you, admiral, for your views, whether it would not be advisable to get out all the forces we have attempting to gain possession of the Yazoo River, and use them in the way here indicated.