rendezvous at or near Liberty, Miss. In my opinion, Colonel Grierson would have routed them on Wednesday last but for their immense advantage of position.
The whites and blacks gave us various reports as to their objects-that they designed to attack Baton Rouge simultaneously with our attack on Port Hudson; that they intended a raid on our train near Springfield Landing; that they expected to get in the rear of my command; that they contemplated a junction with General Kirby Smith, who was said to be crossing the river at Natchez, with a view to relieve Port Hudson; that they were fortifying Whiteside; that the force was collected for General Johnston, to be used in an attack upon the Army of the Gulf, New Orleans, &c.
Some of the inhabitants seemed altogether despondent; others exhibited in their demeanor, as well as language, great confidence that their army would fall upon us before the capture of Port Hudson. We marched back to the Comite River on Sunday morning, encamped there during the day, marched in the evening to Redwood Bayou, where we encamped during the night, and on Monday morning (the 8th instant) returned to Port Hudson.
No casualties occurred except such as resulted from the intense heat.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
HALBERT E. PAINE,
Lieutenant Colonel RICHARD B. IRWIN.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF GULF, 19TH ARMY CORPS, Numbers 131.
Before Port Hudson, June 4, 1863.
I. Brigadier-General Grover, commanding the right wing, will immediately detail one brigade of infantry, 2,000 strong, and two sections of Napoleon guns, under the command of Brigadier General Halbert E. Paine, for special service. Brigadier-General Paine will at once report in person at these headquarters for instructions. The men will take three days' rations in their haversacks.
* * * * *
By command of Major-General Banks.
[RICH'D B. IRWIN.]
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, 19TH ARMY CORPS,
Before Port Hudson, June 5, 1863
Brigadier General H. E. PAINE,
GENERAL: The commanding general directs me to communicate the following instructions for your guidance:
The force under your command consists of a full brigade and two sections of artillery from your own division, and all of Colonel Grierson's cavalry brigade, including a section of Nims' battery, excepting the necessary detachments for picket duty. The object of your expedition is to attack and disperse the force of the enemy, supposed to be from 1,500 to 2,000 strong, which has been collected at Clinton.
The details of this operation are left to your discretion, with the single