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[331] 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.

Gen. Banks 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. Grant'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. Grant'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 from Grant 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. So Banks, sending Gen. Wm. Dwight to Grant 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 above. And 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.

Gen. Banks, directly after Dwight's return to Alexandria, put2 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.

Gen. Gardner, 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, Grover, 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. That assault

1 Dated the 10th.

2 May 14-15.

3 Night of May 23.

4 May 25.

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