Third Division, under Colonel Paine, and your own and Dwight's brigade and Prince's cavalry.
Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
RICH'D B. IRWIN,
[MAY 25, 1863.-For Grant to Banks, in relation to co-operation of forces, see Series I, Vol. XXIV, Part III, p. 346.]
HDQRS. OF ARMY, ADJT. GEN'S OFFICE, Numbers 234.
Washington, May 25, 1863.
* * * * *
III. Brigadier General W. F. Smith, U. S. Volunteers, will repair immediately to New Orleans, La., and report for duty to Major General N. P. Banks, commanding Department of the Gulf.*
By command of Major-General Halleck:
E. D. TOWNSEND,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Riley's, before Port Hudson, May 26, 1863-1 a. m.
Admiral D. G. FARRAGUT, Commanding, &c., Flag-ship Monogahela:
ADMIRAL: Colonel Irwin informed you of our position early this morning. To-day we concentrated Paines's (Emory's) division, reduced to about a brigade, and the brigades of Weitzel and Dwight, all under General Weitzel's command, on the right; turned the head of Big Sandy Creek, and pushed through the woods on that part of the line, up to the abatis which continues the enemy's line of defense toward his left.
During the afternoon he made quite a determined attack on our right. For a short time the action was brisk, but the enemy soon driven back in considerable confusion, and at dark we held the ground I have indicated on our right, and on the rest of the line same general position indicated in Colonel Irwin's dispatch.
Colonel Prince, with the Seventh Illinois Cavalry and a section of the First Illinois Battery, was sent down and across Thompson's Creek, to destroy the enemy's means of transportation, with the view of frustrating the probable attempt at this point. Colonel Prince took the large steamers Starlight and Red Chief, and a small flat, being the only means of transportation on the creek, and, finding the south bank overflowed and the steamers in good order, very properly decided to hold the boats instead of burning them, and only to destroy them in the last resort.
We are now everywhere close upon the works. To-day our artillery will be placed in position. We shall bring about ninety guns to bear upon the enemy. We shall replenish exhausted ammunition, bring up that which we need for the work before us, and prepare everything for the assault. At daylight to-morrow (27th), unless something unexpected occurs, I shall order the works to be carried by assault.
* Before General Smith had complied with this order, he was, by Special Orders, Numbers 268, War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, June 17, 1863, directed to report to General Couch, commanding Department of the Susquehanna, for temporary duty.