HDQRS. SECOND DIV., 19TH ARMY CORPS, Numbers 39.
Before Port Hudson, June 15, 1863.
All orders heretofore issued from these headquarters for the temporary organization of the brigades of this division are hereby revoked.
The First and Third Brigades will remain as organized by orders from headquarters department.
A temporary Second Brigade will be formed, to consist of: One hundred and sixty-second New York Volunteers, Emory's division; One hundred and seventy-fifth New York Volunteers, Emory's division; Twenty-eight Maine Volunteers, Second Brigade, Second Division; to be commanded by Colonel Benedict, One hundred and sixty-second New York Volunteers.
By orders of Brigadier-General Dwight:
U. S. FLAG-SHIP HARTFORD,
Above Port Hudson, June 16, 1863-4 p. m.
Major General N. P. BANKS,
Commanding Nineteenth Army Corps, before Port Hudson:
GENERAL: As far as I can learn from the 2 captured pickets of the enemy, whom Colonel Sage has sent me for safe-keeping, their force consists of between 400 and 500 men, all cavalry, badly armed; not a private among them having a saber; have been only three months in the service, and have never been even in a skirmish. They have two light pieces of artillery with them; all from Texas, commanded by Colonel [B. W.] Stone.
Yesterday afternoon Colonel Sage sent me word that the enemy were so near him that he should defend himself where he was, and asked me to render him assistance. I immediately placed two gunboats to command the levee, and offered him 100 men and a field piece to aid in his defense, but it seems he changed his plan, deeming it more prudent to change his position where he always could retire upon the lower fleet, and be secure of his supplies. This information you probably have received before this. I have seen nothing of your staff officer which you mention in your note of yesterday having sent.
Communication can always be had with me from your headquarters in three and a half hours, across Thompson's Creek, and the road is tolerably good. Owing to the falling of the waters, I can no longer signalize to the admiral across the Point. Your shortest way of communicating with Fausse Point is through me.
The transports are all down here, being alarmed by the proximity of the guerrillas, which they say are hovering about Bayou Sara. If that is the case, the road between you and Bayou Sara is not safe. If you see no necessity of protection at Bayou Sara, I will withdraw the two gunboats I now have there.
I have no later news from Vicksburg. As soon as I have, I will send you the information. I am afraid matters are not progressing there as favorably as we could wish, or we should have had good news before this. The defenses of Port Hudson are, it seems, far more formidable than any of us have imagined. What are our present hopes of success?
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. S. PALMER,
P. S.-I have just learned that a fight has ensued between part of the
36 R-VOL XXVI, PT I