me. I accordingly have dropped them down under my lee, and my intention was to have shelled them as soon as it became dark, but, on sending a scout on shore late this afternoon to get more particularly their exact locality, I found they, too, had disappeared.
The enemy are evidently mustering in force for some purpose, whether to drive our friend Colonel Sage into the Mississippi, and then run supplies into Port Hudson, or go down to Donaldsonville, I am uncertain, but one of the two is evidently their object.
The 2 cavalrymen belong to Banks, who, with their horses, the Bee has brought down, I shall turn over to Colonel Sage as a re-enforcement.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. S. PALMER,
P. S.-I sent over to you this morning as Irishman, who deserted from the rebels, and who cheerfully took the oath of allegiance, and the 2 Texas cavalry pickets captured by Colonel Sage, whom I paroled.
U. S. GUNBOAT ESTRELLA,
Above Morganza, June 17, 1863.
Commodore JAMES S. PALMER,
U. S. S. Hartford:
SIR: The Estrella and Arizona got under weight this morning from Pointe Coupee, and went to Morganza to communicate with the enemy in reference to the fate of Captain Upton's men.
They were all captured, 12 in number, and are now in the enemy's hands. We can obtain no reliable information. They say that General Kirby Smith is below Pointe Coupee; that General Mouton is also in this vicinity. Nothing said about the strength of their force. The Arizona and this vessel are both short of fuel, and are at present wooding above Morganza, on the opposite side.
I send down by the Bee 2 cavalrymen, who came down to the bank and reported that they were a portion of the rear guard of a foraging party sent out from Port Hudson yesterday, and were cut off by the enemy's cavalry. The Bee has been detained wooding.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. P. COOKE,
June 18, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel RICHARD B. IRWIN,
COLONEL: Captain McCarty, of the Southerner, reports the Anglo-American, Sykes, and two other small boats burned at Plaquemine this morning. Planter reports that they have 2,000 infantry, 500 cavalry, and two field pieces, and intend marching on Donaldsonville. Some cavalry appeared in sight.
Gunboat Numbers 2 has gone down.
CHAS. W. DREW,