War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0099 Chapter XXXVIII. SIEGE OF PORT HUDSON, LA.

Search Civil War Official Records

Commodore PALMER:

General Banks is writing dispatches to General Grant, which I will send in a few moments. Colonel Smith remains here.


Assistant Adjutant-General.

JULY 8--p. m.

Commodore PALMER, Hartford:

Port Hudson has surrendered, and will be formally turned over to us at 7 o'clock to-morrow morning. Please keep a bright lookout to-night.



(In communication with U. S. S. Richmond.)

10.20 A. M.

Commodore PALMER:

Please send my clerk immediately. Let him stop at Colonel Sayre's, and ask him how many teams he can send me. Have him bring a horse for me.



You can let your stores remain if they are in safety. I shall probably be down this afternoon. Port Hudson surrenders to-day. I send your clerk over.



(In communication with General Banks' headquarters.)

General BANKS:

We are short of coal here, and the transports have had steam up all day. Coal is scarce. Shall I let the fire go down?



12 M.

Commodore JAMES S. PALMER, Hartford:

You have authority to pass down by Port Hudson whenever you please. Please order our transports to go to Point Pleasant Landing to-night. The general requests you to keep one gunboat above to watch the place and the river to-night, and to place one at his disposal to take dispatches to Vicksburg.


Assistant Adjutant-General.

To seal Red River, thereby cutting off the supplies of both Port Hudson and Vicksburg, the Hartford came to anchor at its mouth April 1, 1863.

An attack at night with a fleet of rams and gunboats was angrily threatened by the enemy for six weeks. With my flagman, I volunteered to ascend the river several miles each night in a skiff, thoroughly equipped with rockets, to announce his approach.

We served upon this nocturnal picket, relieved at times by the regular officers and men of the flagship, until the arrival of Admiral Porter's iron-clads, after the reduction of Grand Gulf.

I have the honor to add that to the performance of this and our more legitimate signal duty Admiral Farragut awarded official mention and approval in his communications to the Secretary of the Navy.

My flagmen were Charles P. Eaton and Orville S. Sanborn. They were in eight sharp engagements while on the Hartford. They stood at their posts at a time when veteran sailors crouched and crawled and hid. Each of them, during the sickness of the other, has divided the day with myself, and stood single, unrelieved watches of twelve consecutive hours. Both were intrusted by Commodore Palmer with important errands, and Eaton was selected to carry the original dispatches