by casualties and sickness, and, I have no doubt, disheartened. As rapidly as space can be overcome, everything is pressed to the front. The necessity of garrisoning the bay and holding the line from it to Donaldsonville (80 miles), as well as the railroad and the cut-offs leading from the La Fourche to the river above and below, consumes much of my little army.
I have so far succeeded in my purposes. The enemy have been driven from the La Fourche region, with the exception of the ground on which the fort at Donaldsonville stands. Berwick Bay, the key to the Attakapas, is in our hands, and we have a powerful artillery on the river between Banks and his base-New Orleans. We have paroled over 2,000 non-commissioned officers and privates, and recaptured most of the stolen property carried off in the late raid. If any opportunity, however slight, offers, I will thrown myself into New Orleans, and make every effort to hold it, leaving my communications to take care of themselves. I trust the lieutenant-general commanding will not feel disappointed at these results. At all events, I have used every exertion to relieve Port Hudson, and shall continue to the last.
The copy of communication from General Johnston to the lieutenant-general commanding, of the 26th ultimo, forwarded by Lieutenant and Aide-de-Camp [E.] Cunningham, reached me this morning. I feel pained at the contents. The first communication of General Johnston, of which I received a copy, stated that he had a force with which he hoped to relieve Vicksburg, but that he could not separate his troops to relieve Port Hudson, and desired the attention of the lieutenant-general commanding to the latter point. The next communication from General Johnston was through one of my staff, General [C. Le Doux] Elgee, a copy of which was sent to department headquarters. General johnston had no suggestions to make, but seemed to approve the instructions I had left for the guidance of the troops opposite Vicksburg. In the late communication a tone of complaint seems to prevail that nothing has been accomplished on this side of the river. The troops opposite Vicksburg never numbered 4,000 effective, although 8,000 is assumed to be the number in this communication. It is to be presumed that the difficulty of communication prevents us from hearing what efforts the army under General Johnston has made to relieve Vicksburg. As this army is some 25,000 or 30,000 strong, and has no Mississippi River to cross, I certainly accord most heartily with the suggestion that the lieutenant-general in person should take the field. In the present critical state of the campaign, his presence would be of great utility.
I beg leave to add, with great respect, that if all the forces in Arkansas were thrown upon Helena, and firmly established there, with adequate artillery, more could be done to relieve Vicksburg than by any other move on this side of the river.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WESTERN LOUISIANA,
La Fourche, July 13, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to announce a brilliant success gained by a portion of my forces, under the command of Brigadier-General [Thomas] Green,over [Generals Godfrey] Weitzel and [William] Dwight.