or at least with more iron on them, and by the time the water is high enough to operate you will have them with you. They will be armed with rifled guns and 24-pounder howitzers, and will not draw more than 30 inches.
This will give you twenty-two gunboats in your department with those now there, and I may be able to do more after we drive the rebels back from the Tennessee River.
The precarious position in which General Rosecrans' army was left after the battle of Chickamagua forced me to strain every nerve to endeavor to open communication with him up the Tennessee River, which was very low at the time, and I left quite uneasy about General Sherman, who was advancing (by the way of Corinth) to his assistance. An unexpected rise swelled the river, and I got up a large fleet of gunboats and transports.
General Sherman arrived at Iuka at the same time, or a little before, and we ferried his army over in a very short time. That put matters straight, and we now command the position. Of course my whole mind was engrossed with this business, and I had to withdraw gunboats from every district to accomplish what was done, and, for moral effect, and to convoy transports, I have to keep them there. As soon as the water will permit, you will find me coming into the Atchafalaya or Bayou La Fourche with a good force.
I inclose you copy of a letter I wrote to the Secretary of the Navy, intended for General Halleck's inspection.* One of the gunboats captured two of General Dick Taylor's steamers, and burned them at the point A on the inclosed sketch.+
My letter to Mr. Secretary Welles will explain what I wished done. It would materially assist your operations.
Hoping soon to be able to supply your wants, I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
DAVID D. PORTER,
November 7, 1863.
Commanding Troops in Western Louisiana, Vermillion Bayou:
GENERAL: The movement of the major-general commanding has been a complete success.
You had better move a division promptly to Berwick Bay. Make provision for guarding your large supplies at New Iberia and covering your trains. More full particulars will come to-day.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHAS. P. STONE,
Brigadier-General, and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, November 7, 1863.
Major General WILLIAM B. FRANKLIN,
GENERAL: Your dispatch of this date received. One division at Berwick will be sufficient for some days. Please make as much show as
*See Report of the Secretary of the Navy for 1863, p. 546.
+Sketch not found.