Much interest is felt in the fortunes of Admiral Farragut
by every loyal man in the country, and his assured safety is a source of congratulation among good men everywhere.
Not the least gratifying intelligence in this news is the fact that the renowned Colonel Ellet
of the ramfleet is in command of the Switzerland
, with Admiral Farragut
The rebel papers up the river trumped up a very ingenious theory some time ago, by which the writers proved — to their own great satisfaction — that Colonel Ellet
was lost, with every body else on board the ram Lancaster
, while attempting to pass the batteries at Vicksburgh
On Tuesday morning, April fourteenth, Lieutenants H. B. Skinner
and C. C. Dean
of General Dudley
's staff, and Lieutenant Tenney
of the Thirtieth Massachusetts volunteers, went up from Baton Rouge
to Port Hudson
in the Richmond
, they having volunteered to go across the point opposite Port Hudson
, and carry despatches from below to the Admiral
, who was to be at the mouth of False River
on Wednesday morning. Captain Roe
and Lieutenant Herbert
of the signal corps accompanied the expedition.
During the sail up an additional mast was put above the main topmast of the Richmond
, with a “crow's nest” in the top, from which it was proposed to signal over the trees covering the point with the Admiral
, which plan proved entirely successful.
On the morning of the fifteenth, Lieutenants Skinner
, and Herbert
went up the levee a couple of miles to reconnoitre.
They found that the enemy were crossing cavalry over from Port Hudson
Returning to the Richmond
, the welcome signal-guns were heard from the Hartford
, whose masts were plainly visible from the “crow's nest.”
They were quickly answered by Captain Alden
, and in a few minutes the expedition started.
Beside the above-mentioned officers, Mr. Shaw
, Acting Master
of the Richmond
, and Mr. Gabandau
, Private Secretary
to Admiral Farragut
, who came down a week ago, and returned to the Richmond
, put in here to accompany us over.
Also Mr. Graves
, Purser's Clerk of the Albatross
, accompanied the expedition.
A negro was taken along as a guide.
The party was well armed, and started about noon.
They struck the woods some two miles below the river, embarked in two skiffs, and for five miles proceeded through the woods, overflowed with water to a depth ranging from three to thirty feet. It was a novel scene.
Silently they paddled through the forest — the only noises heard were the voices of numberless birds and the low rustling of the leaves.
Arriving near the False River
, the boats were hid in the bushes, and the party waded waist-deep through the water a mile further in, where they struck the old State Levee, following which for a short distance, they came out into the open road in full sight of the enemy's batteries, which were no longer to be feared, for right ahead was the welcome sight of the flag-ship.
, Captain Hart
, came quickly down and took us on board.
While waiting for her to reach us, the enemy fired a few shells at the party, which went harmlessly over.
In a few moments we were alongside the Admiral
's ship, who gave us a most cordial welcome.
The officers vied with each other in making us comfortable, and eagerly asked numberless questions about the news below.
After a good night's rest, the party, decreased by the officers belonging above, early the next morning started to return, which was a much more dangerous matter than going, for the enemy having divined our intentions, had, during the night, sent a small force over, evidently with the intention of “gobbling” the party; but we struck a different road from the one we came on, and reached our boats in safety, having encountered but one of the enemy's pickets, who was mounted, and quickly fled on our firing at him. We got back to the Richmond
at noon, having thus in twenty-four hours accomplished an object full of importance and danger, and one which Yankee pluck and perseverance alone could accomplish.
is well, and has seen considerable service since passing the port.
He reports heavy batteries erected at Grand Gulf
, which fired on him in going up and coming down.
There are batteries also at Warrenton
, just below Vicksburgh
The ram Switzerland
is with him. He is now blockading the mouth of Red River
, down which a large amount of the enemy's supplies come.
He reports that the rebels have only four days provisions at Port Hudson
, and is of opinion that there are not more than fifteen thousand troops there, and that if invested it must fall in a week's time at most.--New Orleans Era