It was the Admiral's duty to make the report he did to the Secretary of the Navy, but he stated the case in much milder terms, as regarded General Banks, than did the army officers who served under him, in their evidence before the Committee on the Conduct of the War. We insert one letter from General Kilby Smith which corroborates everything that has been said in regard to Banks leaving the Eastport at the mercy of the enemy:
Headquarters Division 17Th Army Corps, Cotile, April 25th, 1864.
Admiral: Arrived at this pointlast night.
General Banks and army are on the march to Alexandria.
We brought up the rear and skirmished all the way. General Banks fought at the crossing of Cane River; not much loss on either side.
[Note--General Banks speaks of this as most desperate fighting.] Our fight in the rear was sharp.
General A. J. Smith's command is ordered peremptorily to Alexandria; troops are now on the march.
You will find the enemy some 2,000 strong on the opposit