War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0489 Chapter XXXVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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General Sherman should be ordered to hold all his disposable force in readiness to join us at Port Hudson after its occupation. If necessary, he can spare us two brigades, but easily one. If only one brigade comes, it had better be the First, which is at the parapet, leaving General Dow there, and giving the command to the senior officer, Colonel Clark, Sixth Michigan.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

[RICH'D B. IRWIN,]

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,

Sims' Plantation, May 17, 1863-9 p.m.

Major General N. P. BANKS,

New Orleans:

Dispatch from General Dwight, dated Grand Gulf, May 16, 8.30 p.m., just received, states that Grant occupies Jackson. Promises to secure the co-operation desired, but urges you not to wait for it. General Dwight says he is confident, from information from various sources, that there is only a brigade at Port Hudson. Grover is here; Emory's division 7 miles back. Troops begin to cross to-morrow morning on Laurel Hill. The vital points are, first, coal for the navy immediately, certainly, and at any cost; secondly, steamboats to move to the command; thirdly, prompt movement. General Andrews and I both write by the messenger who takes this down.

Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

[RICH'D B. IRWIN,]

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,

Simsport, La., May 17, 1863-9 p.m.

Major General N. P. BANKS,

Commanding Department:

GENERAL: I have the honor to inform you of the receipt of a dispatch from General Dwight, copy of which Lieutenant-Colonel Irwin will send you herewith, and to report as follows: I propose to send Hardwood to make a reconnaissance of the road to Morganza and the ferry opposite Bayou Sara, and no farther at present. I propose to retain the Laurel Hill here, and cross the Third and Fourth Divisions to this side as rapidly as possible. I propose to send the first transport that arrives to tow the raft down here. The Be was sent for this purpose to-day, but got off too late to accomplish anything. General Weitzel should be at Bayou Huffpower to-morrow night, 40 miles from here, where he awaits orders. IN the uncertainly about Colonel Chickering's movements, I do not like to send an order to General Weitzel to move farther until I hear from you. It will take about two days for him to reach this place from Bayou Huffpower.

I would suggest that General Sherman be directed to send a brigade of infantry and a battery of field artillery to re-enforce General Augur, and the latter (General Augur) be directed to move at once with his whole force, excepting one regiment of infantry (colored) and the Twenty-first Indiana Artillery, which mans the heavy guns, to the rear of Port Hudson. At least he can safely move up to Barnes' house, 14 miles from Baton Rouge, at the cross-road to Springfield Landing, and send his cavalry up in rear of Port Hudson. General Dwight's information