He told me all about the fortifications and the number of troops. They are throwing in troops from Vicksburg as fast as they can by land, and bringing down guns,&c., as fast as they can by water. There are four forts in all, well placed, and mounting twelve large guns. They have been preparing this place six weeks, and have known all about this move; expected it sooner.
I would have attacked had there been but two forts. I made my plans to do so, but considered it unwise to put myself in a position where I might be separated from the army, which might have happened under present circumstances. They have 12,000 troops at Grand Gulf, and still increasing the number. My informant tells me that they have plenty of beef and corn meal. They seem to have about 500 contrabands at work. I could see no more. My idea was to attack the forts at once and land troops at the same time, but I think we should have superior numbers, for the position is a very strong one. If the troops can get by, we can land them below, and land on a road leading to the fort, or go up Bayou Pierre, which leads to the Port Hudson Railroad. As you know your own plan, I won't pretend to offer any suggestions. I merely give you the information I have obtained. I send you a little plan of the place. *
DAVID D. PORTER.
HEADQUARTERS THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Smith's Plantation, April 23, 1863.
Major General U. S. GRANT, Comdg. Dept. Of the Tennessee:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that I received a dispatch from Rear-Admiral Porter last night, stating that the enemy was constructing works at Grand Gulf. He bombarded their works within range, but could not reach those upon the hill. He intends renewing the bombardment to-day, and requests an infantry force to co-operate. I have ordered all the available forces to move, yet with due caution in landing, and to remain under the protection of the gunboats. You will please forward the pontoon train as soon as possible, as a bridge across the bayou below would add greatly to the means of reaching the river.
Your most obedient servant,
JOHN A. McClernand.
MILLIKEN'S BEND, La., April 23, 1863.
Major General STEPHEN A. HURLBUT, Comdg. SIXTEENTH Army Corps:
GENERAL; It appearing that the proprietor and editor of the Bulletin has been absent for some time, and the control of his paper out of his hands, you are authorized to permit its issue for the publication of the letter-list and such Northern news as you may deem proper to be published. Nabors, one of the formed proprietors, I regard as one of the most dangerous, as well as most disloyal, citizens of Memphis. I would advise a close watch to be kept over him, and on the slightest deviation from a correct course I would expel him from our lines.
U. S. GRANT.