[Inclosure Numbers 4.]
HDQRS. FORT BUTLER, Donaldsonville, July 6, 1863.
Gunboat Princes Royal:
SIR: Accompanying this communication are two colored boys, who report that they were taken prisoners at Berwick Bay by the Confederate force at that place. They left the rebel camp, 7 miles down the coast, at Madame Winchester's plantation, last evening at 8 o'clock. They state the force there to be about 10,000, under command of Colonel [W. P.] Lane, with eight rifles and two smooth-bores; that their object is to cause a diversion of the gunboats from this post down the river, in order to make a raid on the fort, with the intention of capturing it. It is Colonel Hadlock's wish that your receive them, and proceed down the river to the point designated, and give them a shell or two; at the same time to convoy the steamer Cornie down below the point mentioned, with the remains of Major Bullen on board. The two colored boys are desirous of joining the Twenty-first Indiana Battery, now stationed at New Orleans, and Colonel Hadlock requests that you would exercise your own judgment in regard to them.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. KEMBLE OLIVER,
Lieutenant, and Post-Adjutant.
[P. S.]-Colonel Hadlock has also received information that the enemy were moving down the road about a mile in rear of the fort with sixteen pieces of artillery; caliber not known. The force accompanying the artillery not stated. The above are stated to be three siege pieces, four brass smooth-[bores], and nine rifled, the siege guns drawn by sixteen horses.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS, Before Port Hudson, July 7, 1863.
Brigadier General C. GROVER,
GENERAL: The commanding general directs that the following be communicated for your information and guidance:
General Gardener has just requested the commanding general to give him "official assurance" whether Vicksburg has surrendered or not; and, if true, he asks a cessation of hostilities, to enable him to consider terms for surrendering Port Hudson.
The commanding general has replied that a cessation of hostilities is impossible, but nevertheless he desires that all active demonstrations impossible, but nevertheless he desires that all active demonstrations on your part shall cease until further [orders] from these headquarters.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
[CHARLES A. HARTWELL],
Lieutenant, and Aide-de-Camp.
(Copy to General Dwight.)
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS, Before Port Hudson, July 8, 1863.
Rear-Admiral D. G. FARRAGUT, U. S. Navy,
Commanding Lower Fleet:
SIR: I have the honor to inform you that General Gardner has offered to surrender, and that at his request a commission, to consist of 3 officers