A ram, gunboat, and four transports, passed our batteries at Vicksburg
on the 22d ult., without any apparent injury, and on the 30th an attempt was made, but without the same success, two of the boats being badly injured and the rest forced to withdraw.
A letter from Vicksburg
, dated as late as May 1st, says:
Everything now indicates that active hostilities will soon commence.
The enemy is evidently engaged in completing his preparations for a demonstration in a short time.
The river is now receding so rapidly that a few days more will bring the water within its bounds, and then there may be some prospect for him to land his troops on the Mississippi
shore above the defences, and by making a land attack, under the cover of gunboats, he expects to carry the fortifications and make his way to the city.
The hot season is also approaching, and the malaria of the swamp and fear of devastating epidemics will force him to do something.
A Federal force of 30,000 is reported below at New Carthage.
The transports which have been run by our batteries are to bring this force across under the protection of the gunboats and a landing is to be effected, after which the march to Vicksburg
is to be commenced and the gunboats are to attack the lower batteries, while the same programme is being carried out by the fleet and forces above and the mortars are engaged in shelling the city to make it untenable for our troops.
This is now the plan, and it is nothing new, as it was started a year ago, when the celebrated canal was first projected.
On Wednesday morning heavy firing was heard below.
It lasted some hours.
This time it was reported that the enemy had landed below, on the Mississippi
side, and had been repulsed by our troops.
This report also remains unconfirmed up to the time of writing this.