LA GRANGE, TENN., May 21, 1863.
Assistant Adjutant-General, SIXTEENTH Army Corps:
SIR: A railroad man, a refugee from Jackson, gives much valuable information as to the whereabouts of the rolling stock of the roads centering at that point. He says they have 30 serviceable locomotives and over 200 cars this side of Jackson, on the Mississippi Central Railroad and the Memphis branch. This large amount of transportation gives them the power of running a force northward with great rapidity, either to escape from General Grant or to threaten and perhaps cut off his line of communication.
This movement has no doubt already received the consideration of the general commanding our corps, but the information as to the quantity of rolling stock may be new.
Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
WM. SOOY SMITH
U. S. S. TUSCUMBIA
Below Vicksburg, May 22, 1863-2 p. m.
Major General U. S. GRANT:
GENERAL: I attacked the batteries this morning at 8 o'clock with the gunboats, after they had been playing on them all night. We silenced all the hill batteries, and then attacked the water batteries at short range. The enemy's fire slackened considerably, but not enough to induce me to continue the action, the men being very much fatigued. Continued the action an hour and a half longer than you requested, and I wished to keep ammunition enough on hand in case you hove in sight. In the mean time McArthur's DIVISION were seen straggling along the top of the hills near the deserted batteries. The enemy, perceiving they were unaccompanied by artillery, got one or two field-pieces in one of the batteries we had silenced. I immediately got under way with two of the gunboats and shelled them out. Could General McArthur have known the state of things, he could have gone into the forts without any trouble and can do so now. I will write to him, and inform him of the fact. It is an important position, and commands all the batteries down to the water batteries.
There is only one gun on the battery opposite the Marine Hospital. We disabled the big rifle gun above the canal, after a short action with it, and we now hold the river within 1,800 yards of the batteries front of the Marine Hospital.
Very respectfully and sincerely.
DAVID D. PORTER,
NEAR Vicksburg, MISS., May 22, 1863-8. 30 p. m.
Rear-Admiral DAVID D. PORTER,
Commanding Mississippi Squadron:
Your note, dated 2 p. m. is just received. I had sent you a dispatch stating that the assault at 10 a. m. was not successful, although not an entire failure. Our troops succeeded in gaining positions close up to the enemy's batteries, which we yet hold, and, in one or two instances, getting into them. I now find the position of the enemy so strong that I shall be compelled to regularly besiege the city. I would request,
22 R R-VOL. XXIV, PT. III