War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0537 Chapter XXXVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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upon the subject. Have plenty of ammunition. Have thirteen guns upon the river; three can be turned inland.

JAMES FIELD, sergeant in [Twelfth Battalion] Louisiana Heavy Artillery .- Battery Numbers 4, in center, on river. Two guns, one 10-inch, one 8-inch columbiad, traverse on pivot, and fire inland. Have moved two 24-pounder, Coffin's, two Tennessee 24-pounders, and two 12-pounder Blakely guns to the breastworks. One Blakely has been disabled, and one Coffin guns has been dismounted. [W. N.] Coffin's guns are behind Beall's headquarters, near Slaughter's field. The Tennessee guns are beside the railroad, where it crosses the breastwork. Fiver thousand men in Port Hudson. Beall's brigade and Miles's Legion (500 strong) and detached companies. Think they can hold out till re-enforcements arrive. Rations issued 1st June for ten days. Very little meal left. Twenty-five thousand bushels corn and plenty of beef, and plenty of sugar and molasses. Troops mostly natives. Four batteries light artillery. Plenty of ammunition except caps. Muskets are altered to Springfield and Austrian and Belgian. There is a light ordnance work-shop near the commissaries.

Sergt. B. BATTELL, detached company.-Made a coat for Major [J. L.] Stockdale, chief of subsistence. Major's brother showed him the figures for issue of rations before the battle of Plains Store. Rations issued to 6,420 men. There were 500 killed and wounded. There are about 5,000 men now in the works. There are two classes of men; the largest desire to go home. The others are sanguine of defeating us.

Drew ten days' ration 1st of June. Sid to have 40,000 pounds of meal left, being six days' rations. Mill injured; stones broken. Will move engine, &c., to grind in a hollow. Our captain made a speech on the day of the first attack, and said it would be over that night. We (Federals) could have gone in on our right that night. The works on the right may have been strengthened, but a man who saw them yesterday said it had not been done. Artillery would knock them down. Breastworks have been built on the right. They are nothing but rail fence and mud, and no ditch. Works on our (United States) left are the strongest; deep ditch and high works.

Many of their guns have been broken up, and some hid in hollows. They can only bring against us (in case of our advance) a part of the guns they brought the other day. Many dare not bring their guns to the parapet. They may fight in the woods a little, but the plan is to go to the water batteries, turn the guns on us, and kill all they can of us, and then surrender.

They have no exterior line of defense, and will not make any but on the right, where they have always expected us. Will fight from redoubt to redoubt which are detached.

Some guns in the woods and ravines inside. Sentiment the other day that we should take the place; now, that we have a small force and cannot. Their fire is intended to strike the earthworks we are supposed to be erecting.


June 4, [1863] -8 p. m.

[General N. P. BANKS:]

GENERAL: I am just in receipt of your note. I sent Colonel Ellet up to you yesterday, and informed you that Simsport was in possession of the enemy, and the banks of the Atchafalaya were filled with their sharpshooters. This presume he did, and told you how heavy the fire was.