War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0500 W.FLA., S.ALA., S.MISS., LA., TEX., N.MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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of General Grover's command will proceed on board other transports as soon as they can be furnished. The wagons will move in rear of General Paine's command, under a proper guard. General Paine moves on Morganza at 8.30 a.m. to-day.

IV. Brigadier-General Weitzel will march on Simsport to-morrow morning, cross the river, and await further orders on this side.

V. So much of Paragraph I of Special Orders as directs the commander of the Third Division to detail one battery of artillery to remain at this post, is hereby countermanded.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

By command of Major-General Banks:


Assistant Adjutant-General.



No. 1.

New Orleans, May 21, 1863.

I. The undersigned assumes temporary command of the Defenses of New Orleans.*

II. Lieutenant Colonel W. D. Smith, One hundred and tenth New York Volunteers, is temporarily appointed acting assistant adjutant-general.




May 23, 1863.

Major-General BANKS,

New Orleans:

GENERAL: Your dispatches, dated Opelousas May 2 and 4,+ are just received.

I regret to learn from them that you are still pursuing your divergent line to Alexandria, while General Grant has moved on Jackson, instead of concentrating with him on the east side of the Mississippi, as you proposed in your previous dispatch, and as I have continually urged. If these eccentric movements, with the main forces of the enemy on the Mississippi River, do not lead to some serious disaster, it will be because the enemy does not take full advantage of his opportunity. I assure you the Government is exceedingly disappointed that you and General Grant are not acting in conjunction. It thought to secure that object by authorizing you to assume the entire command as soon as you and General Grant could unite. The opening of the Mississippi River has been continually presented at the first and most important object to be attained. Operations up the Red River, toward Texas, or toward Alabama, are only of secondary importance, to be undertaken after we get possession of the river, and as circumstances may then require. If we fail to open the river, these secondary operations will result in very little of military importance. I have continually urged these views upon General Grant, and I do hope there will be no further delay in adopting them.

If Grant should succeed alone in beating the enemy and capturing Vicksburg, all will be well, but if he should be defeated and fail, both your armies will be paralyzed and the entire campaign a failure. I can


*Relieving Brigadier General T. W. Sherman, who had been in command since January 10, 1863.

+See Series I, Vol. XV, pp.305,306.