War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0504 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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inform you that he will no longer need the Estrella at the Courtableau Junction. He respectfully requests that you will order her and another gunboat, if possible, to hold and observe closely the head of the Atchafalaya, at prevent the enemy from attempting to cross near Simsport. We can furnish you a detachment of sharpshooters for service on the boats if you desire it. If you send a gunboat down to order up the Estrella, please send word to the commander at Butte-a-la Rose that no more transports are to be permitted to pass up.

Our lines closed in upon Port Hudson yesterday. We occupy the enemy's advanced rifle-pits on our left, and on the center are within musket-range and in plain view of the work at the crossing of the Jackson road. Everything looks favorable.

We are in easy communication with Baton Rouge, and by telegraph and signals from our left to the admiral, who, as I presume you are informed, has his flag on the Mononghela. I shall be happy to send anything for your to New Orleans.

I have the honor to be, commodore, very respectfully, you obedient servant,

[RICH'D B. IRWIN,]

Assistant Adjutant-General.

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

Riley's, before Port Hudson, May 25, 1863-12 m.

Rear Admiral D. G. FARRAGUT, Flag-ship Monongahela:

ADMIRAL: The commanding general is at the front. I will forward your dispatch to him immediately; meanwhile I take the liberty of stating our position early this morning.

Sherman on the left, in advance of the enemy's first line of rifle-pits, having his pickets at the front edge of a skirt of woods, separated from the enemy's main line of works by an open plain. His position is in front of the school-house.

Augur, next on the road from the Plains to Port Hudson, and well advanced. Grover, on the Jackson road, holding the front edge of a wood which is within from 250 to 400 yards of the apparent center of the works, and in plain sight and easy range of them.

Weitzel, with his own brigade, Dwight's, and Paine's (Elmory's) division, reduced to about a brigade, on the right, near where the Telegraph road from Port Hudson to Bayou Sara crosses the Big Sandy Creek.

This morning everybody except Grover has closed up, and Grover cannot close up without taking the works in front of him. Thus the place is completely invested. I understand that it is the commanding general's intention to make the decisive attack to-morrow morning, but upon this point I do not speak officially or decidedly, as everything, of course, depends upon circumstances, which an hour totally change. I have the honor to be, sir, with great respect, your most obedient servant,

[RICH'D B. IRWIN,]

Assistant Adjutant-General.

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

Rifley's, before Port Hudson, May 25, 1863-1 p. m.

Commodore JAMES S. PALMER, U. S. S. Hartford:

It is important that the gunboats, should shell the point of land between Thompson's Creek and the Mississippi from a position a little