Doc. 184.-capture of Grand Gulf, Mississippi.
Admiral D. D. Porter's report.
Lafayette, Carondelet, Mound City, and Pittsburgh, and proceeded up to the forts at Grand Gulf for the purpose of attacking them again, if they had not been abandoned. The enemy had left before we got up, blowing up their ammunition, spiking their large guns, and burying or taking away the lighter ones. The armament consisted of thirteen guns in all. The works are of the most extensive kind, and would seem to defy the efforts of a much heavier fleet than the one which silenced them. The forts were literally torn to pieces by the accuracy of our fire. Colonel Wade, the commandant of the batteries, was killed, also his chief of staff. Eleven men were killed that we know of, and our informant says that many were wounded, and that no one was permitted to go inside the forts after the action, except those belonging there. We had a hard fight for these forts, and it is with real pleasure that I report that the navy holds the door to Vicksburgh. Grand Gulf is the strongest place on the Mississippi. Had the enemy succeeded in finishing the fortifications, no fleet could have taken them. I have been all over the works and found them as follows: One fort on a point of rocks, seventy-five feet high, calculated for six or seven guns, mounting two seven-inch rifles and one eight-inch and one Parrott gun on wheels, which was carried off. On the left of this work is a triangular work calculated to mount one heavy gun. These works are connected with another fort by a covered way and double rifle-pits extending one quarter of a mile, constructed with much labor and showing great skill on the part of the constructor. The third fort commands the river in all directions. It mounted one splendid Blakely one hundred pounder, one eight-inch and two thirty pounders. The latter were lying bursted or broken on the ground. The gunboats had so covered up every thing with earth that it was impossible to see at first what was there, with the exception of the guns that were dismounted or broken. Every gun that fell into our hands was in good condition, and we found a large quantity of ammunition. These are by far the most extensively built works, with the exception of those at Vicksburgh, I have seen yet, and I am happy to say that we hold them. I am dismounting the guns and getting on board the ammunition. Since making the above examination new forts have been passed nearly finished. They had no guns, but were complete of the kind as regards position, and had heavy field-pieces in them.
David D. Porter, Acting Rear Admiral. Commanding Mississippi Squadron.