guns; while he had seized 2 and destroyed 8 Rebel steamers, beside three gunboats.
An intercepted letter showed that Taylor
had purposed to attack Brashear City
the day prior to our advance to and attack on Fort Island
had been notified by Admiral Farragut
, while at Brashear City
, that Gen. Grant
--then at his wits' end before Vicksburg
— would spare him 20,000 men for a movement on Port Hudson
— a proffer which was soon afterward, and most fortunately, retracted.
's plan was to join teams and help Banks
reduce Port Hudson
, when the latter should help him reduce Vicksburg
: an arrangement to which Gen.
B. very gladly assented.
's corps designed to cooperate against Port Hudson
was to be at Bayou Sara
May 25th; but on the 12th Banks
was advised by letter1
that lie had crossed the Mississippi
in force, and had entered on his campaign which proved so successful.
Of course, lie had now no corps to spare, but proposed instead that Banks
should join him in his movement against Vicksburg
This the latter was obliged to decline, lacking the required transportation, and not daring to leave New Orleans and all we held in Louisiana
at the mercy of the strong Rebel garrison of Port Hudson
, of whose batteries Farragut
had recently had so sore an experience; to say nothing of Dick Taylor
's return, strongly reenforced, from the side of Texas
, sending Gen. Wm. Dwight
to explain his position, wisely decided to move with all his available force against Port Hudson
, where he could be in position either to defend New Orleans below, or to reenforce, in an emergency, or be reenforced by, Grant
, on hearing all the facts as set forth by Gen. Dwight
, heartily concurred in this decision; offering to send Banks
5,000 men so soon as he could spare them.
, directly after Dwight
's return to Alexandria
his army in motion; sending all he had transportation for by water; the residue marching by land to Simmsport, where they were with difficulty ferried across the Atchafalaya
, and moved down the right bank of the Mississippi
till opposite Bayou Sara
, where they crossed,3
and, marching 15 miles next day, proceeded forthwith to invest Port Hudson
from the north; while Gen. C. C. Augur
, with 3,500 men from Baton Rouge
, in like manner invested it on the south.
, commanding at Port Hudson
, sent Col. Miles
to resist their junction behind his fastness by striking Augur
on his march; but he was repulsed with a loss of 150 men; while our right wing above, under Gens. Weitzel
, and Dwight
, drove the garrison, after a sharp fight, within their outer line of intrenchments.
The next day,4
they joined hands with Augur
behind the Rebel
works, and the investment of the Port, save on the side of the river, was complete.
Reports being current that the enemy had withdrawn — that there was only a handful of them left behind their works, &c.--Banks
, after thorough reconnaissance and giving time for preparation, gave the order for a general assault.