hope to move my command from Simsport by the aid of transport and naval vessels to Grand Gulf, in which event ten or twelve days will accomplish the movement.
I am now 350 miles distant from you. Nothing will be allowed to delay our movements. I will keep you advised of our progress from day to day. I can add about 12,000 to your column.
I have the honor to be, with much respect, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, Alexandria, La., May 13, 1863.
Commanding Forces at Vicksburg:
I have sent, subsequent to the dispatch of yesterday, transmitted by Captain Gibbs, a note of this date, informing you of my determination to join you at all hazards with as little delay as possible. There are great difficulties in the way of our movement, but we shall overcome them all. My belief is that your first suggestion of sending a force to co-operate with us against Port Hudson is best.
Port Hudson can be reduced without delay and with perfect certainty if you can assist us with from 10,000 to 20,000 men. We can then aid you by a force of 25,000, and, if Hunter joins us, with still stronger numbers, and furnish supplies, ammunition, and everything necessary for the support of your army and our own from New Orleans without trouble or delay. I earnestly urge upon you the consideration of this subject in this Light, but, should it be impossible for you to conform with it, I shall move to you as soon as possible with the force that I have stated. At best, the movement against Port Hudson can delay us but a few days, and will not only give you our co-operation, but will free your cavalry from the difficulties which now prevent its return.
My headquarters will be at Simsport to-morrow.
The moral effect of the reduction of Port Hudson upon Vicksburg and the junction of our forces after that will be inappreciably great.
N. P. BANKS,
Memoranda upon the military movements of May, 1863.
Major-General GRANT, Forces at Vicksburg:
Let me again earnestly press upon your consideration these advantages in reducing Port Hudson:
1. Enabling me to aid you at Vicksburg with 25,000 men at least, instead of 12,000.
2. The certain and immediate reduction of Port Hudson, and the immense moral effect produced thereby both on our troops and on those of the enemy at Vicksburg.
3. Perfect security for my communications with New Orleans, and for procuring ample supplies of provisions and ammunition for both armies from New Orleans; also coal for both fleets and transports.
4. Should Hunter's troops join me, as promised and expected, the additional aid of those troops.
5. A secure line of retreat for all these forces in case of disaster.
6. Facilitating the rejoining your command by Colonel Grierson's cavalry.
N. P. BANKS.