We had 3 deserters last night from Port Hudson. They gave a good account of things there; they say you destroyed a large amount of their commissary stores day before yesterday; that you killed a great many of their men in the fight, and kill some every day; that the hospitals are full of wounded; that they are on one-quarter of a pound of meat per day; they have a few beeves and some sheeps; but, unless re-enforcements arrive, they cannot hold out three days longer; that they are worked all the time, and have no rest; they have no cavalry; it is cut off outside. The officers tell them that Johnston is coming to their aid, but if he does no some they will have to surrender; they have plenty of powder, but no shot; they dig up our shot whenever they can find them; they have some grape and canister, which they also make of everything. They say also that the mortar-boats kill some three or four every night.
The news from Grant is that he is mining the upper fort, and has the lower one. Warrenton is the base of operations; is pressing Pemberton in every quarters; has him in inside works.
The enemy in their last sortie against you (as I learned from the deserters), which was for the purpose of capturing your batteries instead of breaking through your lines, suffered very heavy losses in person as well as in commissary stores.
D. G. FARRAGUT.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Before Port Hudson, May 31, 1863.
Rear-Admiral D. G. FARRAGUT,
U. S. S. Richmond:
MY DEAR SIR: Thanks for your note and the cheering report of the deserters. We are closing in upon the enemy, and will have him in a day or two. Can you spare to us the 32-pounder guns on board the mortar-boats, with men to man them? They will do us great service.
General Grant's success is glorious.
Very truly, yours,
N. P. BANKS,
NEAR VICKSBURG, MISS.,
May 31, 1863.
Major General N. P. BANKS,
Commanding Department of the Gulf:
Your letters of the 28th and 29th instant, by Colonel Riggin, have just been received. While I regret the situation in which they left you, and clearly see the necessity of your being re-enforced in order to be successful, the circumstances by which I am surrounded will prevent my making any detachments at this time.
Concentration is essential to the success of the general campaign in the west; during the entire western campaign, what is should be. We have, after great labor and extraordinary risk, secured a position which should not be jeopardized by any detachments whatever. On the contrary, I am now and shall continue to exert myself to the utmost to