and proceeded at once to Simsport, shelled the rebels there, burned the town, and returned on Thursday morning to the mouth of the river.
Major-General Banks requests to know if the statement of the negro is confirmed by reports from the gunboats.
Very respectfully, I am, admiral, your most obedient servant,
[CHAS. P. STONE,]
Port Hudson, June 15, 1863.
Brigadier General CHARLES P. STONE:
DEAR GENERAL: Please inform General Banks that all of the negro's report, except Kirby Smith being there, is substantially true.
The gunboats went to Simsport, and drove them away, and burned or destroyed all the flats and boats there, but the water is now, or will soon be, so low that they can occupy the place with impunity to us.
Our boats have been compelled to come out of the Red River for want of water to pass the bar; but the enemy cannot come down to the Mississippi River, and, if they do, they have no means of crossing it.
A negro came in, reporting that a large force was crossing the Red River and some bayou, on cotton bales placed on a raft in a shallow part of the stream, and that Magruder was said to be at their head; but, as my informant told me that Colonel Sage had been informed of it, I did not send you word, as you were just then in your troubles. I took it for granted that Colonel Sage would know if there was any truth in the report before he sent you word.
I sincerely hope that your losses were not great yesterday, and that all may yet be well with us. I took 5 prisoners this morning, whom I send down to Springfield Landing. They say that Weitzel was driven back from all the ground that he had gained, and they report their killed, as reported, to be very few, but I cannot believe it.
D. G. FARRAGUT,
U. S. S. HARTFORD,
Above Port Hudson, June 15, -11 a. m.
General N. P. BANKS:
GENERAL: The officer in command of your troops on the Point has just sent me word that the enemy from Grossetete are advancing in considerable force toward the point opposite Port Hudson, our cavalry scouts having last night [captured] 2 of their pickets. Colonel Sage informs me he will retire under the protection of the lower fleet. Can you spare a force sufficient to prevent their occupation of the Point, and to re-enforce Colonel Sage?
J. S. PALMER,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Before Port Hudson, June 15, 1863.
Colonel CLINTON H. SAGE, Commanding at Fausse Point:
SIR: The commanding general being informed by Commodore Palmer that you propose to abandon your position and retire under the protec-