HEADQUARTERS HERRON'S DIVISION,
Below Port Hudson, La., August 7, 1863.
Major General U. S. GRANT, Comdg. Dept. of the Tennessee:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 4th instant, received late last night. About a week since I received an order by telegraph from Lieutenant-Colonel Irwin, assistant adjutant-general of this department (a copy of which is inclosed*), to turn over all the transports of this [department] to the chief quartermaster of the department at New Orleans, which was done, with the exception of two hospital and one commissary and quartermaster's boats. Since that time the boats have all been under his orders, and have been and are being used as he directs.
I am in receipt of no orders or official communications from Major-General Banks since his visit to Vicksburg, and have no intimation as to the final disposition to be made of my command, though, from my previous intercourse with General Banks at New Orleans, I certainly expected to have seen him as he passed down the river, or have heard on his return to New Orleans.
My DIVISION is encamped below the town and outside of the line of works, with the exception of one brigade, now absent escorting an artillery regiment from this point to Baton Rouge, by order of General Banks. Brigadier-General [George L.] Andrews is in command of the post and fortifications. Brigadier-General Vandever, commanding my First Brigade, is absent at New Orleans, as president of a court-martial, by order of General Banks. Left as I am in this department without orders of any kind, I find myself placed in a very unpleasant position. These boats having been taken possession of by Colonel Holabird, chief quartermaster of this department, it will probably require an order from you to enable me to return them as you desire. I should prefer to send them up the river, and as most of them are lying here, will do so if armed with authority from you.
Assuring you that no effort shall be spared to serve your wishes, and trusting to hear from you by return mail, I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. J. HERRON.
SPECIAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE TENNESSEE, Number 214 Vicksburg, MISS., August 7, 1863.
IV. The Thirteenth Army Corps, Major General E. O. C. Ord commanding, will proceed with as little delay as possible to Port Hudson, and report from there by telegraph to Major General N. P. Banks, commanding Department of the Gulf, for orders.
V. The Fourth DIVISION, Brigadier General M. M. Crocker commanding, is hereby transferred from the Thirteenth Army Corps to the SEVENTEENTH Army Corps, and will report accordingly.
VII. Herron's DIVISION, Major General F. J. Herron commanding, now at Port Hudson, is hereby assigned to the Thirteenth Army Corps, Major General E. O. C. Ord commanding, and will report accordingly.
VIII. Major General James B. McPherson, commanding SEVENTEENTH Army Corps, will send the Fourth DIVISION of his corps, Brigadier General M.