HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Trudeau's Landing, May 28, 1863-3. 30 p. m.
Chief of Staff, Nineteenth Army Corps:
GENERAL: A report reached me this morning that a force of 500 cavalry, which followed Weitzel's march from Alexandria, was advancing on the this place, and had reached Morganza last evening. I this morning sent out a cavalry squad above Waterloo to again information, which has not yet returned. About an hour since, Lieutenant Harney, of the cavalry, reported to me that he learned from Mr. Hodbell (who has General Augur's permission to trade in cotton, and is a New Yorker by birth and residence until a few years since), that it was currently reported that Kirby Smith was advancing toward Port Hudson with a large force of infantry and cavalry. Several negroes have reported that they were on their route to Bayou Sara last evening with some forty wagons, when they were attacked by some 15 to 20 cavalry (men on horseback, armed), and they fled, and supposed the cavalry had taken the balance of the negroes.
Under these circumstances (though not credit the report fully, and deeming it to be compounded of rebel hope, loyal apprehension, and a mixture of guerrilla), I have considered it my duty to withdraw half of my picket force on the levee opposite Port Hudson, and post them in my rear, to advise Commodore Palmer of the case, and to dispatch you this note.
As we have no forces in the rear, if may be that the rebels have acquired confidence on learning that our whole army is before Port Hudson. I shall attempt to hold this position against any force. By retreating to the river, I can secure the aid of the Hartford and the Albatross.
I am, very respectfully,
HEADQUARTERS DEFENSES OF NEW ORLEANS,
May 28, 1863-9.15 p. m.
Asst. Adjt. General, General Banks' Headquarters:
The following-named troops are about to leave here for Springfield [Landing], in the steamer Fulton: Twenty-second Maine, Twenty-sixth Maine, Fifty-second Massachusetts (four companies detached), and a number of stragglers.
The Catawba will carry the balance of the troops intended for that point to-morrow morning when they get up from Brashear City.
W. H. EMORY,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Before Port Hudson, La., May 28, 1863.
Commanding U. S. Army at Jackson, Miss.:
GENERAL: Upon the receipt of the report of General Dwight, who visited you recently, my command moved from Simsport for Port