Sawtell asks for 50 cavalrymen to be sent him. Can you furnish them? If so, please send them at once.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Port Hudson, June 18, 1863.
Major General N. P. BANKS,
Commanding Department of the Gulf:
GENERAL: I herewith send you two documents received from Commodore Palmer and Lieutenant-Commander Cooke. You will be able to give them a more correct value than I can, but I do not believe that Kirby Smith or Mounton are there.
The Texas prisoners I sent you yesterday said they had not heard of any general in this part of the country, and only knew Colonel Jones, of their regiment.
I will send a vessel down to Donaldsonville, although I have very few. I had to send my last gunboat down to cruise off the mouth of the Mississippi for these pirates who are running off with our tug-boats. I do believe, however, that all that affair was concocted in New Orleans, and by a scoundrel by the name of Duke, who was the captain of a vessel we captured running the blockade with cotton. We kept him as long as we could, for I thought he was a daring scamp, nor would I be surprised to find that the merchants interested were in the secret.
I was thinking of going down to New Orleans for a few days, and leaving Captain Alden, of the Richmond, in command here. I know he will do all that is required, and with a zeal and cheerfulness not to be surpassed. My affairs require looking after below; but a few days will make no matter. If you see any prospect of being able to do anything this week, I will put off my visit below.
They appear to be getting along well on the left, in putting up batteries. If I can be of any service, let me know. I must look out for fresh supplies, mortar shell particularly. I expect they are on their way, but know nothing of them.
D. G. FARRAGUT,
U. S. S. HARTFORD,
Wednesday evening, June 17, 1863.
ADMIRAL: I inclose you a letter just received from Lieutenant-Commander Cooke. There is no doubt that Kirby Smith is in this vicinity, and, from reliable source obtained from Bayou Sara to-day, I learn that it is his intention to join General Mounton and capture Donaldsonville, so as to intercept General Banks' supplies from New Orleans. The rebel cavalry, which have been hovering in this neighborhood all the morning, have suddenly disappeared, and have taken the road to Grossetete.
There was a party of about 100 with two field pieces close by me this morning at Waterloo, and I learned that it was their intention to-night to fire upon the transports which were anchored just ahead of