These men first heard of the fall of Port Hudson last night. From these facts, I cannot think it possible that they will venture an attack here. I can leave here at any time if you think it necessary for any reason.
I shall immediately thrown out a picket at this side of Des Allemands Bridge, if their pickets have not recrossed, and, at any rate, very near to the bridge.
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES FORCES, Donaldsonville, La., July 14, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel RICHARD B. IRWIN,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Nineteenth Army Corps:
I asked the question of re-enforcement form above merely as a matter of news. I have no reason to believe that the enemy has over 7,000 or 8,000 men within striking distance of us. It was reported by a rebel, under a flag of truce, while collecting the wounded yesterday, that Magruder was in our front. I think, however, had that been true I should have heard if from other sources. I do not think, therefore, that we need re-enforcements until it is intended to march upon the enemy down the bayou. In order to do that, we ought to have, I think, all the available force in the department. The force against us will undoubtedly be considerably larger than it was in the Teche country. The reverse of yesterday was entirely due to the disobedience of orders, drunkenness, and misbehavior before the enemy of Colonel Morgan, commanding brigade. I wish that he may have a speedy trial by court-martial. It is due to the troops engaged that he be tried as soon as possible.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS, Port Hudson, July 14, 1863.
Rear-Admiral D. G. GARRAGUT,
SIR: Please let me know immediately and positively whether you can send the Sachem, Estrella, Arizona, Clifton, Calhoun, Hollyhock, or any other boats to Berwick Bay immediately, to cut off the retreat of the enemy. The garrison should be back to-day. I can add nothing to the strength of my former request that these vessels should be sent, but, if they cannot be, please let me know immediately, so that I may order the troops to attack the enemy without further delay, instead of waiting for the gunboats to cut off his retreat.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,