I have sent to Pensacola to see if two 100-pounders can he bad ready for use. General Totten came to see me about our three 30-pounder Parrotts, which were then being landed at your wharf and can go forward to battery at once. I suggested to him that this battery, after being placed, should be given to navy men. If this should meet with your approbation, I have officers, surgeon, and men all detailed and ready to go at it on the shortest notice. I will communicate the arrival of the rest of my ordnance.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. K. THATCHER,
OCTORARA, Monday Evening, April 3, 1865.
Fleet Captain SIMPSON:
MY DEAR SIMPSON: I send off three deserters and a contraband who came from the Winnebago, having, they state, left Battery Tracy this afternoon and come out down the middle channel and outside of the point of Duckers' Bay. They say that there are 2,000 men in the Spanish Fort works, and the same number at Blakely; that the rebels have a pathway beneath the highland below the entrance to Minette Bay that will be completed in a week, over which they pass to the marsh abreast of Battery Tracy; thence to Battery Tracy in skiffs, and across the marsh to Connor's Bayou, and so by a steam-boat that meets them above the spiles and the Danube to Mobile by way of the Tensas; that no boats (steam-boats) pass down the middle channel; that the rebels can get no supplies except by skiffs, as the battery on Minette Bay effectually cuts them off from the forts, and ammunition is scarce. They think they will evacuate or surrender soon if the attack is carried on vigorously. They state that it is reported that there had been a fight at Blakely and the Federals whipped; that on Battery Huger are mounted two 10-inch Brooke rifles that throw square-headed bolts that weigh 230 pounds, and three other 7-inch Brooke guns, two 8-inch columbiads, and a 10-inch mortar; on Battery Tracy, two 8-inch Brooke rifles, another 7-inch Brooke rifle, one 8-inch howitzer, and one 8-inch columbiad. The battery in Minette Bay does a great deal of execution; has disabled the 7-inch Brooke at Fort Tracy, and the traverse circle of the columbiad was injured, but is temporarily repaired. They think that they can't possibly hold out more than two days unless the blockade-runners bring them ammunition, as they did night before last. They think they have ten days' rations, if not more. Not one private in twenty would fight if they could get out of it. Guns have been mounted at Choctaw Bluff from Selma; they have no gun-boats except those we know. I came off from the net-stretching to send these men to you; they are intelligent, seem well disposed, and worth questioning. I will give Mr. Camp, the signal officer, a boat to communicate with the shore, as he has failed to call attention by signal and wishes to communicate with the general.
W. W. LOW.
P. S.-The passage-way along the marsh can be used only at night, as it is sight of the Minette Bay battery; though not complete, it can be used. A regiment passed over it last week, and were taken on board a steam-boat and then to Blakely. They know nothing of Forrest's men here. They have heard a report that General Thomas had lately had a fight with Forrest in the neighborhood of Columbus, Miss., but