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r fallen to the lot of an officer to be thus situated and thus sustained. Regular discipline will bring men to any amount of endurance, but there is a natural fear of hidden dangers, particularly when so awfully destructive of human life as the torpedo, which requires more than discipline to overcome. Preliminary to a report of the action of the fifth, I desire to call the attention of the Department to the previous steps taken in consultation with Generals Canby and Granger. On the eighth of July I had an interview with these officers on board the Hartford, on the subject of an attack upon Forts Morgan and Gaines, at which it was agreed that General Canby would send all the troops he could spare to cooperate with the fleet. Circumstances soon obliged General Canby to inform me that he could not despatch a sufficient number to invest both forts, and in reply I suggested that Gaines should be the first invested, engaging to have a force in the sound ready to protect the landing of
al Banks now returned to the Mississippi River, and crossed his ármy to Bayou Sara, where he formed a junction, on the twenty-third of May, with General Augur's forces from Baton Rouge. The latter had an engagement with the enemy at Port Hudson Plains on the twenty-third, in which he lost nineteen killed and eighty wounded. Port Hudson was immediately invested. While awaiting the slow operations of a siege, General Banks made two unsuccessful assaults upon the place; finally, on the eighth of July, the place unconditionally surrendered. We captured six thousand two hundred and thirty-three prisoners, fifty-one pieces of artillery, two steamers, four thousand four hundred pounds of cannon powder, five thousand small-arms, one hundred and fifty thousand rounds of ammunition, etc. In order to facilitate General Grant's operations, by destroying the enemy's line of communication, and to prevent the early concentration of any reenforcements, Colonel (now Brigadier-General) Grierson
e solemn and affecting duties, and that our whole army was not launched in prompt and eager pursuit. They were burdened by heavy trains filled with plunder, without ammunition, and woefully demoralized. Had the half of our army, flushed with success, fallen on them in flank or rear, or anywhere, or any how, General Lee might have got across the Potomac, but his army never. The trains, with the wounded and prisoners, says Lee's report, were compelled to await at Williamsport (about the eighth of July) the subsiding of the river and the construction of boats. . . The enemy had not yet made his appearance. The rebel army must have trembled with anxiety lest the dreaded Yankees should heave in sight before they could escape over the swollen Potomac, which Providence seemed to have destined as the place of their surrender. It was not till the twelfth of July, that our army, too long delayed, came up; but, unfortunately, the enemy had nearly finished their preparations for flight An att