ers that, in case of an attack, and they are obliged to fall back, not to fall back in the road, as our artillery will be so placed as to sweep it. Tell General Smith to look out for a road which passes down through a ravine to his front and right toward the enemy's works. The road winds around in the valley to the front of our right battery, near the white house. I intended to see you this afternoon; after going to General Grant's headquarters, I came back by yours, but learned you had come down to see me, and returned immediately and found you had left.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. B. McPHERSON,
[MAY 26, 1863-For Dodge to Rosecrans in reference to expedition in Northern Alabama and Middle Tennessee, see Series I, VOL. XXIII, Part II, p. 364.]
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
Before Port Hudson, May 28, 1863.
Major General U. S. GRANT, Comdg. at Jackson, MISS:
GENERAL: Upon the receipt of the report of General Dwight, who visited you recently, my command moved from Simsport for Port Hudson, landing at Bayou Sara at 2 o'clock on the morning of the 22nd. We reached Newport on the 23rd, and moved upon Port Hudson. Several combats were had with the enemy, in which we were successful. Outside of his intrenchments he has no power. Yesterday we made a combined assault upon his works. They are more formidable than have been represented, and his force stronger. The fight was very bitter, and our losses severe. The enemy's losses are large, but not in comparison with ours. On either side we pushed our troops close to the line of his fortifications, and on the right our forces occupied opposite faces of the same parapet with the enemy. But we have not strength enough yet to carry their works. There are 5,000 troops that I can bring to my support in three days. It is necessary that the enemy should be prevented from re-enforcing the garrison; I hope that he will be so occupied as to make it impossible for him to do so. Next to that, it is essential that you should assist us if you can. We have ammunition, provisions, artillery, and cavalry, and want nothing but the men. We shall be grateful for any aid, however slight. Our solicitude for your safety is tempered with the strongest hopes that your good fortune and signal ability will establish the perfect success of all your plans. The garrison of the enemy is 5,000 or 6,000 men. The works are what would ordinarily be styled "impregnable. " They are surrounded by ravines, woods, valleys, and bayous of the most intricate and labyrinthic character, that make the works themselves almost inaccessible. It requires time, even to understand the geography of the position. They fight with determination, and our men, after a march of some 500 or 600 miles, have done all that could be expected or required of any similar force. I send this by an officer of my staff, and hope that information may be received from you without delay.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS.
P. S. -With the gunboat that takes this communication to you, I send back the steamers Forest Queen and Moderator that you sent for
23 R R-VOL. XXIV, PT. III