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Acting Master Reed, of the Benton, had charge of the batteries at Fort Benton, so named by General Herron in honor of the occasion. General Herron generously acknowledged the services of those I sent him, which communication I inclose with this report.

I have endeavored to do justice to all who were immediately engaged in the struggle for the mastery of the Mississippi. To the army do we owe immediate thanks for the capture of Vicksburgh; but the army was much facilitated by the navy, which was ready at all times to cooperate. This has been no small undertaking. The late investment and capture of Vicksburgh will be characterized as one of the greatest military achievements ever known. The conception of the idea originated solely with General Grant, who adopted a course in which great labor was performed, great battles were fought, and great risks were run. A single mistake would have involved us in difficulty; but so well were all the plans matured, so well were all the movements timed, and so rapid were the evolutions performed, that not a mistake has occurred from the passage of the fleet by Vicksburgh and the passage of the army across the river, up to the present time. So confident was I of the ability of General Grant to carry out his plans when he explained them to me, that I never hesitated to change my position from above to below Vicksburgh. The work was hard, the fighting severe, but the blows struck were constant.

In forty-five days after our army was landed, a rebel army of sixty thousand men had been captured, killed, and wounded, or scattered to their homes, perfectly demoralized, while our loss has been only about five thousand killed, wounded, and prisoners, and the temporary loss of one gunboat.

The fortifications and defences of the city exceed any thing that has been built in modern times, and are doubly unassailable from their immense height above the bed of the river.

The fall of Vicksburgh insured the fall of Port Hudson and the opening of the Mississippi River, which I am happy to say can be traversed from its source to its mouth without apparent impediment, the first time during the war.

I take this opportunity to give to Mr. Fendal and Mr. Strausz, assistants in the coast survey, the full credit they deserve for their indefatigable industry. Since they have been attached to the squadron they have been connected with almost every expedition that has been. undertaken; they have kept both army and navy supplied with charts when they could not otherwise be obtained; they were found ready at all times to go anywhere or do any thing required of them, whether it was on a gunboat expedition or in the trenches before Vicksburgh engineering, when the General Commanding called for volunteers from the navy. They have added to our collection of maps many geographical corrections which are valuable, and they have proved to me that no squadron can operate effectively without a good corps of surveyors.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

David D. Porter, Acting Rear-Admiral Com'g Miss. Squadron. Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, Washington.

Headquarters left division investing forces, Vicksburgh, July 5, 1863.
Admiral: While congratulating you on the success of the army and navy in reducing this Sebastopol of rebeldom, I must at the same time thank you for the aid my division has had from yourself and your ships.

The guns received from the Benton, under charge of Acting Master Reed, a gallant and efficient officer, .have formed the most effective battery I had, and I am glad to say that the officer in charge has well sustained the reputation of your squadron. For the efforts you have made to cooperate with me in my position on the left I am under many obligations.

Very respectfully your obedient servant,

F. J. Herron, Major-General. Admiral D. D. Porter, Commanding Mississippi Squadron.

Headquarters left division investing forces, Vicksburgh, July 5, 1863.
Captain: Having had from your ship, since the first of our siege operations on the left of the investing line, four of your heavy guns, under charge of Acting Master J. Frank Reed, I must, before their return to the ship, express to you my thanks for the good service they have rendered, and the admirable and officer-like manner in which they were handled by Acting Master Reed. His battery (which I have named after your ship, Battery Benton) has been our main support in advancing, and I learn has been a terror to the rebels in our immediate front.

The management and conduct of Acting Master Reed and his subordinates, Wm. Moore and W. P. Brownell, cannot be too highly spoken of, and I can assure you they have nobly sustained the reputation of your ship and the Mississippi Squadron.

Acting Master Reed is well worthy of promotion.

Congratulating you, Captain, on the combined success of the army and navy in reducing this Sebastopol of the rebels, I remain, very truly, yours,

F. J. Herron, Major-General. To Captain J. H. Greer, Commanding Benton.

United States steamer Conestoga, Mississippi River, July 8, 1863.
sir: I have the honor to present the following report of the naval battery, consisting of two eight-inch columbiads, whilst under my command.

Acting under your orders of June first, I reported to General Sherman, who located the battery nearly on the extreme right, not far from the river. After many delays I succeeded in getting one gun in position the night of June fourth. Fire was opened from it the next morning, and the next night the other was got in

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