HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES FORCES,
Before Port Hudson, May 28, 1863-6 a. m.
Major General FRANK. GARDNER,
Commanding C. S. Forces at Port Hudson:
GENERAL: I have the honor to request that there may be a suspension of hostilities until 2 o'clock this afternoon, in order that the dead and wounded may be brought off the field.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
Port Hudson, La., May 28, 1863-7.30 a. m.
Major General N. P. BANKS,
Commanding U. S. Forces near Port Hudson:
GENERAL: I will consent to a suspension of hostilities until 2 p. m. for the purpose of allowing you to send to pick up your killed, and wounded, provided you withdraw your entire force to a distance of not less than 800 yards from my lines, and send in only unarmed parties for that purpose. I cannot consent to a suspension of hostilities as long as your sharpshooters occupy such a near proximity.
I shall expect you to indicate to me your decision on this matter, and immediately give the necessary orders; also that the fleet withdraw to its original position.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding C. S. Forces.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Before Port Hudson, May 28, 1863-8.30 a. m.
Major General FRANK GARDNER,
Commanding C. S. Forces at Port Hudson, La."
GENERAL: Your note, dated at 7.30 a. m., is this moment received. The wounded me to whom my letter refers are on our left, upon the ground, as I understand, occupied by my men. The favor I solicit is that hostilities may be suspended until these wounded men can be withdrawn. I desire to take no advantage of such suspension of hostilities, except that of providing for suffering men. I cannot comply with your request to withdraw my entire force to a distance of not less than 800 yards from your lines. I should cheerfully consent to the condition that unarmed parties only should be charged with the duty of removing the dead and wounded. It is unnecessary for me to refer to your suggestion in regard to the fleet, as I am compelled to decline compliance with a similar request in regard to the forces wholly under my own command.
I have tho honor to renew my request for a general suspension of hostilities, until such an hour as you shall name, for the purpose of withdrawing wounded men from this portion of the line, consenting to
36 R-VOL XXVI, PT I