War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0522 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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is advancing with any large force. Still, you should be on your guard against surprise. The enemy may very possibly have crossed some cavalry over the Atchafalaya River.

A general assault upon the works here was made on the 27th instant. Our men fought bravely, drove the enemy into their works, and reached the parapet, close to which some of our sharpshooters now are, preventing the enemy from using his guns. But they were unable to pass the parapet under the severe fire of the enemy. Our loss in considerable, though much less so than was at first apprehended. We have lost several valuable officers. General Sherman is severely wounded. We still hold our position close to the enemy's works, and are making new preparations for a still more powerful attack. We shall probably have to call upon you for assistance, and you will be in readiness to move to this place if ordered to do so.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. P. STONE,

Brigadier-General of Volunteers, and Chief of Staff.

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

Before Port Hudson, May 29, 1863-9 a. m.

Commodore JAMES S. PALMER,

Commanding Fleet above Port Hudson:

COMMODORE: By direction of the commanding general, I have the honor to communicate to you the following:

A dispatch was received last evening from Colonel L. Benedict, commanding United States forces on the point opposite Port Hudson, in which it states that it is reported that Kirby Smith is advancing with considerable force. This is not credited here, but it is very possible that a force of cavalry may have been sent across the Atchafalaya by the enemy. The gunboats, of course, prevent their crossing at Simsport. Colonel Benedict has been directed to guard against surprise, and will have, in any event, a safe retreat under the protection of your fleet. A general assault of the enemy's works here was made last Wednesday (27th instant). Our men

behaved most gallantly, drove the enemy into his works, and followed him close up to the parapet, where some of our sharpshooters, still remain, picking off the enemy's gunners and preventing him from serving his guns. But we were unable to pass the parapet under the severe fire of the enemy. Our loss is considerable, as might have been expected, but much less than was at first apprehended. The enemy's loss must be heavy. We are collecting re-enforcements, and making preparations for a new and more formidable attack. General Sherman was badly wounded in the leg by a shell. General Dow slightly wounded. We have lost several valuable officers. General Grover again opened fire on the enemy last evening, which provoked a sortie on the part of the enemy, which was promptly and easily repulsed.

I am informed by Colonel Irwin that Lieutenant [Stephen M.] Eaton, the signal officer, has been sent to you. Colonel Holabird, chief quartermaster, has been directed to carry our your wishes respecting the two schooners which brought coal for the fleet. I trust this has all been done to your satisfaction.

I am, commodore, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

[CHAS. P. STONE,]

Brigadier-General of Volunteers, and Chief of Staff.