a wood which is within from 200 to 400 yards of the apparent center of the works, and in plain sight and easy range of them. Weitzel, with his own brigade, Dwight's, and Paine's (Emory's division), reduced to about a brigade, on the right, near where the Telegraph road from Port Hudson to Bayou Sara crosses Big Sandy Creek.
This morning everybody except Grover has closed up, and Grover cannot close up without taking the works in front of him.
Thus the place is completely invested. I understand that the commanding general's intention is to make the decisive attack to-morrow morning, but upon this point I do not speak officially or decidedly, as everything, of course, depends upon circumstances, which an hour might totally change.
I have the honor to be, sir, with great respect, your most obedient servant,
RICH'D B. IRWIN,
Numbers 8. Report of Lieutenant John W. Dana, Twelfth Maine Infantry, Acting Signal Officer, of operations June 29-July 3.
NEW ORLEANS, LA.,
July 27, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report that on the 29th of June, 1863, I was ordered to open communication with the mortar battery on the left of our line at Port Hudson with Lieutenant Eaton, whose station was in a barn on the opposite side of the river, from which he could see the enemy's river [batteries], with the aim of directing fire of our guns and mortars upon enemy's batteries.
The following is a correct transcript of messages sent and received by me while there:
JUNE 29, 1863.
Sent. "How shall the mortars fire to hit the gun on wheels behind the citadel? How many yards is it?"
Received. "Three hundred and fifty. The gun is not there."
Sent. "Where is it?"
Received. "Eight hundred [yards] on the verge of the bank."
Sent. "Is it a rifled gun, about 1.28-pounder?"
Sent. "Eight hundred yards from here?"
Sent. "Watch a shot fired at it from here. How was that?"
Received. "Try it again at 500 yards."
Received. "Neither shell exploded. F. L. L."
Sent. "Did they fall in the river?"
Received. "Numbers F. L. L."
Sent. "Watch now."
Received. "Splendid range; fire 100 yards short of last shot; that did not explode; could not see where it fell."
Sent. "Will try it again; keep watch."
Received. "That fell 150 yards short; range good."
Sent. "Was not fired at it; watch now. Did you see that?"
Received. "No, did not; can seldom see them unless they burst."
Sent. "Will cease firing for the present. Can you see the rebs in the citadel?"
Received. "No; but scores of them on this side."
Sent. "Direct fire at them. Orders are to cease firing for the present."
Received. "Will they permit you to direct fire of one of the Parrotts?"
Sent. "They only bear on the citadel, and all firing has ceased."