in the joy of your triumph, for you have no greater well wisher than myself.
I congratulate you now with all my heart, and now that you have finished that business so well, I must tell you that the guerrillas are kicking up the mischief on the river, especially about Natchez, and down about Red River. Dick Taylor has come in with 4,000 men and twenty-two pieces of artillery, and has planted them behind the levee to great advantage. He don't trouble the gun-boats, which have driven him away twice, but the transports get badly cut up, even when they are convoyed. Natchez is threatened by a large force, and I think they must have had a hard fight there three or four days ago, as our dispatch-boat, just arrived to-day, reports heavy firing after she left there on the way up. Banks has left the country about Red River without any troops, and the rebels have it all their own way. Can't you send to our assistance some of your good fellows? They Red River may be blocked again if we don't look out. The troops arrived at Natchez as the transports left, bound to the mouth of Red River, but they were stopped at Natchez owing to the troubles there.
The Von Phul has just arrived, with 40 shot-holes in her; captain and clerk killed; some of the light clads are badly cut up, but held their own. The whole party can be bagged with 4,000 troops. Wishing you continued success, I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
DAVID D. PORTER,
December 16, 1863.
Major General U. S. GRANT,
The following is from Richmond papers of 14th:
BRISTOL, December 12, 1863.
The news from the front is decidedly encouraging. Our cavalry are still at Morristown, and the enemy is retiring since Longstreet placed Cumberland Gap in his front instead of his rear. Longstreet's, Ransom's, and Vance's commands had consolidated, and perfect confidence is left that he will hold the country. Waughn's command has also succeeded in joining the main body. Direct information from Longstreet has been received. He was at Bean's Station, 56 miles from Knoxville, on the 8th.
By order of the Secretary of War:
THOS. T. ECKERT,
Major and Asst. Supt. of U. S. Military Telegraph.
CHATTANOOGA, December 16, 1863.
(Received 4.30 p.m., 18th.)
Colonel D. C. McCALLUM,
Superintendent of Military Railroads:
Railroad from Nashville to Chattanooga needs extensive repairs. A bridge between this place and Bridgeport, 800 feet long and 18 feet high, is to be trestled. Many engines and cars off tracks to be restored. All the construction corps could be most profitably em-