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[520] yards from the water-battery, and which alone had been attacked.

The guns and works were captured uninjured, and one hundred and eighty-five prisoners fell into General Smith's hands, those of the enemy occupying the water-battery making good their escape. General Walker, the rebel commander, had marched out with five thousand men ostensibly to attack our approaching land force, leaving a garrison of but three hundred men to defend works incomplete and of considerable extent, and which, if complete, had been of great strength.

Your order of the fourteenth instant was delayed some five hours beyond the time necessary in reaching me, and, in consequence, I did not reach this place till the evening of the fifteenth, a short time after the lighter vessels pushed on ahead, and which had arrived one half hour too late to capture six steamers which had succeeded in getting over the falls, and escaping with one exception, the steamer Countess, burned by the enemy after grounding on the falls. Had your order duly reached me, we no doubt would have captured the steamers. By morning, nine gunboats had arrived, and I landed a force of one hundred and eighty men to occupy the town, and to seize the rebel property. This force, under Lieutenant Commander Selfridge, was in occupation of the place when you arrived. Seven prisoners of war were captured by the pickets.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. L. Phelps, Lieutenant Commander. Rear-Admiral David D. Porter, U. S. N., Commanding Mississippi Squadron.

flag-ship Black Hawk, Mississippi Squadron, Alexandria, Louisiana, March 29, 1864.
sir: Being about to leave for Shreveport, or as high up the river as I can get, I have the honor to report progress.

After a great deal of labor, and two and a half days hard work, we succeeded in getting the Eastport over the rocks on the falls, hauling her over by main force; now and then a rise of an inch or so of water would help her along, and she finally was enabled to pass the advance of the army, encamped on the bank of the river twenty-five miles above Alexandria. Other vessels got through, and a few more remain to be got over, when we will push on to the end. It is very slow work getting over these rocks, but as yet we have met with no accidents. One hospital-ship, belonging to the marine brigade, sank on the falls by striking on the rocks, but all the rest of the transports went over safely. I shall only be able to take up a part of the force I brought with me, and leave the river guarded all the way through. The rebels are retreating before the army, and, as usual, are destroying every thing that can fall into our hands, treating public and private property alike. This is the last hold they will have in this country, and they seem determined to wreak their vengeance on the unoffending inhabitants who have some little cotton to dispose of. Their destructiveness has been a death-blow to the rebellion in this State, and General Dick Taylor has left a name behind him to be execrated when the rebellion is long past.

Confederate money is worth here one quarter of a cent on the dollar, or the most I have heard offered is three cents. The currency of a country is the best proof of its prosperity.

The health of the squadron, I am happy to say, continues good.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

David D. Potter, Rear-Admiral. Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.

flag-ship Cricket, Mississippi Squadron, off Grand Ecore, Louisiana, April 14, 1864.
sir: I had the honor of reporting to you the movements of the squadron as far as Alexandria, and the intention of General Banks to move on at once to Shreveport. He deemed the cooperation of the gunboats so essential to success, that I had to run some risks and make unusual exertions to get them over the falls.

The army started on the appointed day, and I pushed up the gunboats to cover them, if they should be needed, as fast as they got over the falls. The vessels arrived at Grand Ecore without accident, and had good water, the river apparently about to reach its usual stage at this season. The Cricket, Eastport, Mound City, Chillicothe, Carondelet, Pittsburgh, Ozark, Neosho, Osage, Lexington, and Fort Hindman, Louisville, and Pittsburgh, were the vessels sent up, and a fleet of thirty transports followed them.

Grand Ecore was occupied by our forces without opposition. The works deserted. Lieutenant Commander Phelps captured one thirty-two pounder on the river, below Grand Ecore, which he destroyed, making twenty-two guns captured from the enemy since we entered the river.

The army had arrived at Natchitoches, near Grand Ecore, when I got up here, and was preparing for an immediate march. As the river was rising very slowly, I would not risk the larger vessels by taking them higher up, but started on the seventh of April for Shreveport, with the Cricket, Fort Hindman, Lexington, Osage, Neosho, and Chillicothe, with the hope of getting the rest of the vessels along when the usual rise came. Twenty transports were sent along, filled with army stores, and with a portion of General A. J. Smith's division on board. It was intended that the fleet should reach Springfield Landing on the third day, and then communicate with the army, a portion of which expected to be at Springfield at that time. I found the difficulties of navigation very great, but we reached the point specified within an hour of the time appointed. At this point we were brought to a stop; the enemy had sunk a very large steamer (the New Falls City) right across the river, her ends resting on each bank, and her hull, broken in the middle, resting on the bottom. This was a serious obstruction, but I went to work to remove it. Before I commenced operations, however,

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