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[634] dead. I do not think they have lost as many as ourselves, but it has been greater in proportion, considering how they were covered from the severity of our fire.

We have no definite information regarding today's operations. The news has been held back until the field is won or lost. The fighting has, no doubt, been as severe as yesterday, but we are entirely without details. I am inclined to think the enemy are almost driven to the wall, and must surrender or go into the river very soon. We may be in Port Hudson to-night, but if we are, the authorities keep the information wonderfully quiet. They tell nothing, and will permit nothing to go to Northern papers in advance of information sent to the War Department.

I could and would have sent all this information by telegraph to the South-West Pass this morning in time for the Columbia before she crossed the bar, but the obliging superintendent of the military telegraph, Captain Buckley, would not allow the Northern people to receive any information ahead of the War Department.

It must not be supposed that while the army was doing all this desperate fighting on shore, the navy was idle. On the contrary, the gallant Admiral was at work with the entire squadron, both above and below. The bummers moved their position much nearer the enemy's works, and kept up a continuous fire of thirteen-inch shell. The Hartford and Albatross engaged the upper batteries, and when General Weitzel captured the six-gun battery before referred to, they moved further down and supported him by attacking the next below. Admiral Farragut, in the Monnongahela, followed by the Richmond, Genesee, and Essex, engaged the lower works, and in a most effective manner. The Monongahela was worked to the admiration of every one. The fire of the enemy upon the ships was comparatively light — they directed it principally at the Monongahela, but failed to hit her. The Richmond was equally fortunate, and there was not a casualty to record in the fleet up to six o'clock last evening. The fleet was engaged in the morning, and again in the afternoon, and succeeded in dismounting five of the enemy's heaviest guns. The firing was, for accuracy, never excelled, the Genesee especially doing some very tall work with her one hundred-pounder rifle. The squadron manoeuvred in front of the enemy's works, and fired with the greatest deliberation, doing an immense amount of damage, and continuing the work until by signal, they ceased firing on account of our shells going over among our own people. Admiral Farragut, with his squadron, will render General Banks important assistance in the work yet to be done; he will continue to rain shot and shell upon the enemy in such a manner as must distract him in a great measure from the land attack, and compel him to abandon one line or the other. They cannot stand for many hours the assault they are now subjected to; it is more than human nature can endure — this constant wear and tear of both body and mind.


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