Please let the mortars destroy the enemy's rest at night. I will try to communicate with you and Commodore Palmer frequently by signals. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Riley's, before Port Hudson, May 26, 1863-Midnight.
Admiral D. G. FARRAGUT,
Commanding, &c., Flag-ship Monongahela:
SIR: I have ordered the light artillery to open fire on the enemy's works at daybreak to-morrow morning, and the heavy batteries concentrated on the left center to open at 6 a. m.
The division commanders will dispose their infantry so as to seize any advantage and to carry the works at the earliest moment. They will be taken during the day.
Your fire should cease as soon you observe our artillery cease its fire, which will probably be about 10 o'clock, though the time is of course dependent on circumstances.
I have the honor to request that you will communicate the contents of this by signals to Commodore Palmer.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
(Same to Commodore Palmer, commanding, &c., flag-ship Hartford.)
Below Port Hudson, May 26, 1863.
Commanding Department of the Gulf:
DEAR GENERAL: Your dispatch of this morning is duly received. I am glad to find that all is going on as well as you desire. I shall continue to harass the enemy occasionally day and night. He was pretty well exercised last night, both by the Hartford and the mortars. I am trying to get range on the upper battery now. We have moved the mortar-boats up half a mile nearer, and the ships will be ready to open the moment you give us notice, or we judge you to be making the grand artillery attack. It seems to me that you have only to make the assault and they must fall. We will aid you all we can, but I am so anxious about the troops I fear I will not do as much as I might I knew exactly where they were; but I will not hurt your men, as that is my whole study.
The enemy have not replied to our fire this morning. I am glad your officer did not burn the steamers; they can be brought out easily at any time.
I shall be on the watch to aid you whenever I can, and with my sincere wishes for your success, I remain, very truly, yours,
D. G. FARRAGUT,