weeks, have become disabled. The balance of the army is in good condition and fine spirit. I shall withdraw all the troops possible from New Orleans, and strengthen Augur's division at Baton Rouge, effecting a junction with him in the rear of Port Hudson.
General Emory, who is unable to resume his services in the field, will be left in command of New Orleans, for which he is competent, and General Sherman will be assigned to the command of his division.
General Augur's forces will move to-morrow toward Port Hudson. Admiral Farragut's fleet is now concentrated at that point.
I hope to send you further advises of our movements before the steamer sails, which is on Thursday next, 21st.
I have the honor to be, with much respect, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Sims' Plantation, opposite Simsport, May 18, 1863.
COMMODORE: I would respectfully inform you that I send to-day Lieutenant Harwood, of the U. S. Engineers, with an escort, to make a reconnaissance of the roads leading from this place to Morganza and the ferry opposite Bayou Sara, and a further reconnaissance, if practicable, of the roads from Morganza to Rosedale post-office, on the Grossetete Bayou; thence to a point opposite Baton Rouge, to open communications with General Augur. The escort will consist of five companies of cavalry, to be followed by a regiment of infantry and a section of artillery. The infantry and artillery will halt at or near Morganza, to secure the retreat of the cavalry from the operations beyond that place. The cavalry will probably reach Morganza to-night, the infantry and artillery to-morrow before night. The whole movement will probably occupy four or five days.
If you can co-operate in this movement, by sending a gunboat below Morganza, it will greatly tend to the security of the troops engaged therein. I send to-day by the Laurel Hill an order to have coal sent up here from Brashear City immediately; it will, however, probably take two or three days at least to get it here.
I am, commodore, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
[GEO. L. ANDREWS,]
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, and Chief of Staff.
Simsport, May 18, 1863-10 p.m.
Major General N. P. BANKS,
GENERAL: I have the honor to report as follows: The Union and Empire Parish arrived here to-day, loaded with ammunition and subsistence stores, and the latter vessel towing a schooner loaded with coal for the fleet, which is much needed. The Estrella and Switzerland also arrived here to-day from Alexandria, which they left at 12 m. on the 17th. A dispatch from General Weitzel has been received this evening. He is now at junction of Huffpower and Bayou Boeuf, awaiting orders. His rear guard had neither seen nor heard anything of the