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XV. the Department of the Gulf--Port Hudson--Texas.

Galveston has one of the very few tolerable harbors which indent the continental shore line of the Mexican Gulf. The sand, everywhere impelled landward by the prevailing winds and currents, and almost everywhere forming a bank or narrow strip of usually dry beach closely skirting the coast, is here broken through by the very considerable waters of the rivers Trinity and San Jacinto, with those of Buffalo bayou, which unitedly form Galveston Bay; and the city of Galveston is built on the sand-spit here called Galveston Island, just south-west of the outlet of the Bay. It is the natural focus of the commerce of the larger, more fertile, more populous half of Texas, and by far the most considerable place in the State; having had, in 1860, regular lines of steamers running to New York, to New Orleans, and to the smaller Texan ports down the coast, with a population of 5,000, a yearly export of nearly half a million bales of cotton, and a very considerable trade. Plunged, with the rest of the State, into the whirlpool of Secession, it had many Unionists among its people, who welcomed the reappearance of the old flag when their city, after being once idly summoned1 to surrender, was at length occupied,2 without resistance, by a naval force consisting of four steam gunboats under Commander Renshaw--the Rebel municipal as well as military authorities retiring to the main land.

The possession thus easily acquired was as easily maintained to the close of that year: Gen. Banks, at the request of Renshaw, sending down from New Orleans the 42d Massachusetts, Col. Burrill; whereof three companies, numbering 260 men, were actually debarked,3 and encamped on the wharf, the residue being still on their way; while our gunboats Westfield, Clifton, Harriet Lane, Owasco, Coryphaeus, and Salem (disabled), lay at anchor in the harbor — Renshaw in chief command. Some of these boats had been down the coast during the summer, and exchanged compliments with the Rebel batteries at Corpus Christi4 and Lavacca,5 without inflicting or receiving much if any harm. Since then, they had lain quiet in the harbor; their commander maintaining the most intimate and cordial relations with the leading Rebels adjacent, who were in and out of Galveston at their convenience; having a pretty full use of that port without the trouble of defending it.

Maj.-Gen. Magruder having, about this time, succeeded to the chief command in Texas, reports that he found matters along the coast in a very unsatisfactory state — the harbors virtually or actually in Federal possession, from the Sabine to Corpus Christi, and the valley of the Rio Grande almost abandoned. So, after stopping but a day or two in Houston, lie went down to Virginia Point, opposite Galveston; thence coolly [323] passing over to the city by night, with 80 men, supported by some 310 more, coolly inspecting its defenses and military capacities without resistance or demur. Even the long wooden bridge connecting the city with the main land, with the railroad track leading over it to Virginia Point, were neither broken up nor guarded; so that Magruder had the most liberal facilities afforded him for the enterprise he meditated. He decided that, though he could readily seize the old defenses, he could make nothing of them, and that he must operate by steamboats; as he had advices from New Orleans that more Federal troops were coming. So, collecting guns, troops, and volunteers from the adjacent region, and steamboats from all the rivers flowing into the Bay, he prepared for a speedy attack.

His arrangements appear to have been made with judgment as well as energy, and his command of men was virtually unlimited; but his guns (6 siege and 14 field-pieces) were inadequate, and his vessels (three or four ordinary river steamboats, their decks shielded by cotton-bales) glaringly so. It is difficult to resist the impression, on reading his report, not only that Renshaw was a traitor, but that Magruder acted with full knowledge of that fact; since otherwise his enterprise was sheer madness. That the Rebels were preparing to expel us from the city and harbor was perfectly understood in Galveston throughout at least the day6 previous to the attack. Aside from the “intelligent contraband” usually present and vocal on such occasions, the hush of expectation, broken only by furtive and ominous whispers, gave proof that every Rebel in Galveston anticipated a speedy change of flags. Yet no preparation was made for resistance; no streets were patrolled; no unusual vigilance evinced; even the wooden bridge, two miles long, connecting the island city with the hostile mainland, was neither burnt, taken up, barricaded, nor even observed on our part; so Magruder, unresisted and unchallenged, advanced over it, about midnight, with his forces and guns (the latter on cars), into and through the city, as though he were traversing the streets of Houston, to within two squares of the wharf whereon the Massachusetts men were quartered, posted his guns in the most advantageous positions, unhitched their horses and sent them to a place of safety — the guns having been brought to bear on our vessels, but awaiting the arrival of the boats before opening fire. At 4 A. M., however — the moon having set, obscuring the movements on shore, but leaving our gunboats distinctly visible to the Rebel gunners in the clear star-light — Magruder, unable to wait longer for the fleet, lest he should be overtaken by daybreak, fired the signal-gun himself; while Col. Cook led a storming party of 500, supported by Griffin's battalion and by sharpshooters, to the assault on our Massachusetts men encamped on the wharf.

The assault miscarried. The wharfplanks having been taken up between our men and the land, and piled up to form a rude barricade in their front, it was necessary that the assailants should wade through the water of the bay, carrying scaling-ladders [324] as well as muskets; while not only were our landsmen by this time wide awake and firing vigorously, but our vessels were dispensing grape and canister with the proverbial generosity of sailors. The water proved deeper than had been calculated; the scaling-ladders were said to be too short; and, after a brief struggle, the stormers recoiled and took shelter behind the nearest buildings; while the guns of our vessels, hardly 300 yards distant, proved too many for the lighter pieces of the hastily constructed Rebel batteries, driving off their gunners and completely silencing their fire. Daybreak was imminent; and it seemed for a moment that victory was alighting on the banners of the Union.

But now two Rebel steamboats appeared, and speedily put a different face on the matter. Ably handled by Commodore (or Major) Leon Smith, heavily barricaded with cotton-bales, and amply manned by volunteers from Sibley's brigade, under Cols. Green and Bagby, they dashed down the harbor — the Bayou City and Neptune rushing from either side on the Harriet Lane, Capt. Wainwright; running into her with all their force, and sweeping her decks with a deadly fire of small arms.

They met no traitors nor cowards among her chief officers. The Neptune was disabled by the Harriet Lane's return blow, sinking soon afterward, in eight feet water; and the Bayou City narrowly escaped a similar fate, barely evading the direct force of the Lane's crashing assault, which swept off her larboard wheelhouse. Meanwhile, Wainwright's heavy guns were crashing through his adversary, whose only cannon, a 68-pounder, had burst at the third discharge, but whose heavy musketry fire was so annoying that it doubtless interfered with the steering of our vessel; so that the Rebel boat, turning once more, drove her prow into the iron wheel of the Lane, fixing it there; when Smith was enabled to board with his more numerous crew, and our overpowered men, after a brief resistance, surrendered; but not till Wainwright had been killed, and Lt.-Com'g Lee mortally wounded. Lee's father was a Rebel Major, engaged in the attack, and one of the first to recognize his dying son.

The Owasco had been coaling below the town, but had got under way soon after the fight commenced; engaging the Rebel batteries until she observed the cotton-boats in conflict with the Harriet Lane; when she steamed up to assist her; grounding repeatedly on the way, owing to the darkness and the narrowness of the channel. Approaching the Lane, she was received with a heavy fire of musketry, while her own 11-inch gun could rarely be brought to bear; so she speedily backed out of the encounter, returning to her fruitless contest with the shore batteries.

The Westfield, Renshaw's flag-ship, had started to meet the Rebel steamers on the tidings of their approach; but soon got hard and fast aground at high tide, and began signaling for assistance. The Clifton, Lt.-Com'g Law, thereupon went up to her, and began to pull her off; when, upon seeing the flashes of guns from the Rebel batteries, Renshaw ordered her back to the city.

It was now after 7 A. M., and broad day. The Rebels raised a white flag [325] on the Harriet Lane, and sent a truce-boat to the Clifton, demanding the surrender7 of our fleet! Law repelled the suggestion, yet accompanied the Rebel officer to Renshaw on the Westfield, who rejected the proposal; ordering our vessels afloat to get out of harm's way so soon as might be, while he, despairing of getting the Westfield off, would blow her up, and escape with his crew on the transports Saxon and Boardman, lying near him. lie did blow her up, accordingly; but the explosion must have been premature, since Renshaw himself, with Lt. Zimmerman, Engineer Green, and ten or fifteen of his crew, perished with her.8 An eye-witness states that all had left her but Renshaw himself when she was fired (it was said by a drunkard) and blew up, killing eight or ten officers and men in the captain's gig beside her.

Meantime, our soldiers, left to their fate, and wholly without artillery, had been summoned by Gen. W. R. Scurry9 to surrender, and had done so. Two coal-barques — the Cavallo and the Elias Pike — were captured10 by the Rebel steamboat Carr--one of two or three that came down the bay some time after the Neptune and Bayou City. And Law, considering the Owasco his only efficient vessel, and she not equal in a fight to the Harriet Lane, precipitately abandoned the blockade, running off with the sad remains of our fleet to New Orleans; though hourly expecting a transport down from that city, which would almost inevitably run into the enemy's clutches if not warned of the changed condition of affairs.

Magruder reports his entire loss in this fight at 26 killed, 117 wounded, and the steamer Neptune--her crew and guns being saved. He says he captured (beside the Harriet Lane, with all her armament, the schooner and barques), “350 prisoners, beside officers ;” while our losses include the Westfield also, with her splendid battery of eight heavy rifled guns. He came very near entrapping the steamship Cambria, [326] which arrived off the bar on the 3d, containing (he says) “E. J. Davis and many other apostate Texans, beside several hundred troops, and 2,500 saddles for the use of native sympathizers.” Her captain, however, was seasonably warned to escape. One Galveston Unionist, named Thomas Smith, who was landed from her yawl, he caught, tried, and shot as a deserter from the Rebel service. And that was the sum of his “spoils” --Com. Farragut, soon after, sending vessels to reestablish the blockade, before the Harriet Lane could be got ready to run out and roam the seas as a Rebel corsair.

But at Sabine Pass, a performance soon after occurred which was scarcely less disgraceful to our arms than this at Galveston. The broad estuary at the mouth of the Sabine was blockaded by the Union gunboat Morning Light, 10 guns, and the schooner Velocity, 3 guns; which were attacked11 by two Rebel gunboats — Josiah Bell and Uncle Ben--fitted out in the Sabine for the purpose, under command of Major O. M. Watkins, who chased our vessels out to sea and captured them after a very feeble resistance. Watkins reports his captures at “13 guns, 129 prisoners, and $1,000,000 worth of stores.”

The blockade of Galveston having barely been reestablished under Com. Bell, of the Brooklyn, a sail was descried12 in the south-east; when the gunboat Hatteras, Lt.-Com'g R. G. Blake, was signaled by Bell to overhaul her. The stranger affected to fly; but Blake soon observed that lie did not seem in any great hurry. Clearing his decks for action, he stood on; and, when four miles distant, he saw that the chase had ceased to steam and was waiting. Blake, whose guns were short as well as few, ran down to within 75 yards and hailed; when the stranger answered his hail by proclaiming his craft Her Britannic Majesty's ship Vixen. Blake thereupon offered to send a boat aboard; and was proceeding to do so — each of them maneuvering for a better position — when the stranger shouted, “We are the Confederate steamer Alabama,” and poured in a broadside; which was promptly returned.

The Alabama being every way the superior vessel, Blake had no hope, save in closing with and boarding her; which he attempted to do; but the Alabama had the advantage in speed as well as force, and easily baffled him. Both vessels were firing every gun that could be brought to bear, and as rapidly as possible, at a distance of but 30 yards--the Alabama having received considerable injury — when two of her shells simultaneously entered the Hatteras at the water-line, exploding and setting her on fire; and a third pierced her cylinder, filling her with scalding steam, crippling her walking-beam, and disabling her engine; while water poured in profusely from the rift in her side, threatening her with speedy destruction. The Alabama now working ahead, beyond the range of the Hatteras's guns, Blake ordered his magazine to be flooded, and fired a lee gun; when the enemy afforded assistance in saving our men — the Hatteras going down ten minutes afterward. Her crew--(118, including six wounded)--were transferred to the conqueror; she having had two killed. The Alabama, [327] though considerably cut up, so as to be compelled to run into Kingston, Jamaica, for repairs, had but one man wounded. And no wonder; since the Hatteras's heaviest guns were 32s, while of the Alabama's (9 to our 8), one was an 150-pounder on a pivot, another a 68; and she threw 324 pounds of metal at a broadside to the Hatteras's 94. With such a disparity of force, the result was inevitable.

Gen. N. P. Banks, having assumed13 command of the Department of the Gulf, found himself at the head of a force about 30,000 strong, which had been officially designated the “Nineteenth army corps.” With this, he was expected, in cooperation with Grant's efforts up the river, to reopen the Mississippi, expel the Rebels in arms from Louisiana, and take military possession of the Red River country, with a view to the speedy recovery of Texas, whose provisional Governor, Gen. Andrew J. Hamilton, surrounded by hundreds more of Union refugees, was with him at New Orleans, and naturally anxious for an immediate movement upon their State; which they believed ripe for restoration. Their hopes of such a demonstration, however, were soon blasted, as we have seen, by our needless and shameful disasters at Galveston and Sabine Pass. Meantime, Gen. Banks had dispatched14 Gen. Cuvier Grover, with 10,000 men, to reoccupy Baton Rouge, which had been relinquished to the enemy, and which was now recovered without a struggle.

From New Orleans, a single railroad reaches westward to Brashear City on the Atchafalaya, where that jumble of grand canal, river, sound, and lagoon, receives the waters of the Bayou Teche — each of them heading near, and at high water having navigable connection with, Red river. South of the railroad and east of the Atchafalaya, the country had already been in good part overrun by our forces; but our possession of it was imperfect and debated. Beyond and above, all was Rebel; while fortifications at Butte à la Rose, well up the Atchafalaya, and Fort Bisland, at Pattersonville, on the Teche, were intended to bar ingress by our gunboats from Red river or by our land forces from New Orleans. Fort Bisland was flanked by Grand Lake on the right, and by impassable swamps on the left; a Rebel force, estimated [too high] by Gen. Banks at over 12,000 men, held these strong works and the adjacent country; while to hold New Orleans securely, with its many protecting forts and approaches, Key West, Pensacola, Ship Island, &c., with all Texas backing the zealous and active Rebel partisans in Louisiana, who were promptly apprised by their spies of any weak spot in our defenses — to say nothing of the danger of hostile attacks from the side of Alabama and Mississippi--required the larger part of his corps; so that Banks found his disposable force reduced by inevitable details to less than 14,000 men; while the Rebel array in and around Port Hudson was reported by his spies at 18,000; rendering a siege without large reenforcements impossible. He, therefore, turned his attention first to the line of the Atchafalaya.

An attempt to open the Bayou [328] Plaquemine, connecting with the Atchafalaya near Butte à la Rose, having failed — the bayou being found so choked by three years accumulation of snags and drift as to be impassable by boats--Gen. Weitzel's force on Berwick's Bay was increased to 4,500 men, with a view to an advance to and operations in the Teche region. Starting15 from Thibodeaux, Gen. Weitzel embarked his infantry next day at Brashear, on the gunboats Calhoun, Diana, Kinsman, and Estrella, Com. McKean Buchanan, who moved slowly up the bayou to Pattersonville; the artillery and cavalry going by land. Encountering formidable obstructions at a place known as Carney's Bridge, a few miles above, Com. Buchanan, after reconnoitering, dropped down a short distance for the night; returning next morning16 to attack; while the 8th Vermont was sent around to flank the defenses on the north.

The obstructions were found vexatious rather than formidable: consisting of a steamboat filled with brick and sunk across the channel, with the great iron-clad gunboat Cotton behind it; a battery on either flank, and some torpedoes in the bayou below. One of these was exploded under the Kinsman; lifting her stern into the air, but not crippling her; when she fell back to avoid another just ahead, whereof a negro fugitive from the Cotton gave timely warning. Com. Buchanan, on the Calhoun, either not hearing or despising the caution, at once took the advance, standing on the bow of his vessel, spy-glass in hand, in the midst of a furious cannonade from the Cotton and Rebel batteries, and the more deadly fire of sharp-shooters from rifle-pits; when, at 10 A. M., a bullet through his head struck him dead on the instant.

By this time, the 8th Vermont had gained the Rebel rear, and was making a rapid clearance of their rifle-pits; while the batteries of the 1st Maine, the 4th and 6th Massachusetts, supported by sharp-shooters from the 75th and 160th New York, had flanked the defenses on the other side, and were sweeping the decks of the Cotton, whose crew beat a retreat, as did most of the Rebels on land, whereof but 40 were taken prisoners. The Cotton was fired during the ensuing night, and utterly destroyed. The force here beaten consisted of the 28th Louisiana, with Simms's and the Pelican battery, under Col. Gray--in all, but 1,100 men, beside the crew of the Cotton. Our loss was 7 killed and 27 wounded.

Gen. Banks being still intent on opening the Atchafalaya by the meditated advance through the Bayou Plaquemine to the capture of Butte á la Rose, the next month was wasted on this enterprise; and the success at Carney's Bridge was not otherwise improved. Meantime, some 200 Western boys defeated17 a like number of the 3d Louisiana cavalry at Old River; losing 12 men, killing 4, wounding 7, and taking 26 prisoners.

Admiral Farragut, having heard of our loss of the Queen of the West and De Soto18 below Vicksburg, decided that it was his duty to run the Rebel batteries at Port Hudson, in order to recover the command of the river above; so he called on Gen. Banks for cooperation. Hereupon, [329] our forces were hastily recalled from the Atchafalaya and concentrated at Baton Rouge; where they crossed and advanced,19 about 12,000 strong, driving in the Rebel pickets, to the rear of the Port; Farragut having intended, under cover of a land attack on that side, to run the batteries early next morning. He judged best, however, to anticipate Gen. Banks's attack, the night being intensely dark; so, in his stout flag-ship Hartford, lashed side to side with the Albatross, he led the perilous adventure; arriving abreast of the Rebel batteries a little before midnight.

If he had counted on passing unobserved, or shrouded in darkness, he was much mistaken. Hardly was he within range of the nearest Rebel guns, when signal-lights were seen flashing from every direction, including the opposite shore; and, directly, the flames of a vast bonfire in front of the heaviest batteries shot up into the sky, lighting the entire breadth of the river as though it were midday. Rockets were soon streaming in the air; now a gun from the west bank saluted the Hartford, which instantly returned the compliment; and the next moment the earth trembled to the roar of all the Rebel batteries; whereupon our mortar-boats below began firing 13-inch shell at the enemy; and the frigates Hartford, Mississippi, Richmond, and Monongahela, and gunboats Albatross, Genesee, Kineo, Essex, and Sachem, as they severally came within range, fired broadside after broadside; the brass howitzers in their tops and the heavy pivot guns at the bow and stern being industriously worked; while the atmosphere was soon so thick with sulphurous smoke that great care was needfully exercised by our commanders to avoid firing into each other; our aim being now directed by the flashes of the enemy's guns; which, changing from shell to grape as our vessels came within musket and pistol-shot, swept our decks by murderous discharges; some of their batteries being placed on bluffs so high that they could not be harmed by our shots; while the crescent shape of the defenses, following the curve of the channel, enabled them to rake each vessel as it approached, and again as it receded. The greatest care was requisite to avoid grounding or colliding in the dense darkness which followed the burning out of the Rebel bonfire; and there were several narrow escapes from these ever imminent disasters. It was 11 1/2 P. M. when the first gun spoke: and by 1 the fight was virtually over — the Hartford and the Albatross having passed; while most of their consorts had failed, and dropped down to their anchorage below — when a fresh blaze told of a heavy loss. The Mississippi had run aground directly abreast of the heaviest and most central battery; where she was soon discovered and became a target for them all. Here Capt. Melancthon Smith fought her nearly half an hour, till she was completely riddled; when he ordered her set on fire and abandoned; and she was; burning aground till she was so lightened that she floated; when she drifted down the river a blazing ruin, exploding, several miles below, when the fire had reached her magazine. Of her 233 officers and men, but 29 were missing at roll-call next day. [330]

The Richmond had been stopped on her course by a shot through her steam-drum, and lost 8 killed and 7 wounded. The Kineo was disabled by a shot through her rudder; Capt. McKinstry, of the Monongahela, was badly wounded. Several of our vessels carried ugly marks thereafter; but the loss of the Mississippi, with her splendid armament of 21 large guns and 2 howitzers, was our principal disaster.

Gen. Banks returned forthwith to Baton Rouge; his immediate object being accomplished; while he judged the force holding the Port entirely too strong20 to be besieged by his little army — a point whereon Gen. Halleck deems him in error. Our columns were again impelled westward to Brashear City and thence across Berwick's Bay;21 the main body moving thence on Franklin, while Gen. Grover's division was sent by transports up the Atchafalaya and Grand Lake to Irish Bend, above Fort Bisland, where lie effected a landing with great difficulty — the water being, shallow for over a mile from shore, precluding his expected cooperation in Gen. Banks's movement. Here he was soon attacked with vigor, but held his ground and beat off the enemy. Still, the attack sufficed to keep open the road for Gen. Dick Taylor, who, evacuating Fort Bisland, and burning several steamboats, retreated on Opelousas; making a brief stand at Vermilion Bayou, and losing heavily, as he reports, by desertion and straggling — much of his force being made up of unwilling conscripts, who improved every opportunity to escape and return to their homes. Taylor reports his men at but 4,000 in all, and blames his subordinate, Gen. Sibley, for persistent disobedience of orders and other unsoldierly conduct. During his retreat, the famous Queen of the West was assailed by our gunboats in Grand Lake, whither she had worked her way down the Atchafalaya from Red river,and destroyed; her crew being made prisoners.

Banks was delayed by Taylor's burning, as he fled, the bridges over the many bayous and sluggish water-courses of this region; but he entered Opelousas in triumph on the same day22 that our gunboats. under Lt.-Com'g A. P. Cooke, captured Butte à la Rose, opening the Atchafalaya to Red river; so that communication was reestablished,23 through the gunboat Arizona, with Admiral Farragut, at the mouth of that stream. And now a new advance was rapidly made24 by our army to Alexandria; Taylor, evacuating Fort De Russy, again retreating on Shreveport without a fight; while Admiral Porter came up the river with his fleet, and Louisiana, save its north-west corner, was virtually restored, or subjugated, as you will. Gen. Banks sent Weitzel, with a part of his army, on the track of the flying Rebels, nearly to Grand Ecore; when Taylor's force was so reduced that it did not seem worth farther pursuit; and he was unable to retake the field for weeks. Banks reports his captures in this campaign at 2,000 prisoners and 22 [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 letter25 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, put26 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,27 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,28 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 [332]

Port Hudson: Explanations
I to Q — batteries.
A, B, C, D — Redoubts.

E — South Bastion.

F — East Bastion.

G, H — Large forts.

was gallantly made;29 but with the usual ill success of attempts to carry elaborate, extensive, skillfully planned works, enfilading and supporting each other, by merely hurling masses of men against them. Intended, of course, to be simultaneous in every quarter, it failed to be so. Our batteries opened early in the morning; and, after a vigorous bombardment, Gens. Weitzel, Grover, and Paine, on our right, assaulted with vigor at 10 A. M., while Gen. Augur, in our center, and Gen. T. W. Sherman, on our left, did not attack in earnest till 2 P M. Meantime, the Hartford and Albatross above, and the Monongahela, Richmond, Genesee, and Essex below the Rebel river batteries, under the direction of Admiral Farragut, rained shot and shell upon the besieged, who had already been compelled by our fleet to abandon their southernmost battery; spiking [333] its guns. In this day's fight, the fleet probably did the greater execution on the Rebels, whose attention was mainly absorbed by the land attack: its fire dismounting several of their heavy guns, and taking in reverse their landward defenses.

Never was fighting more heroic than that of our army, assailing nearly equal numbers behind strong defenses, approached only through almost impassable abatis, swept by Rebel shell and grape. If valor could have triumphed over such odds, they would have carried the works; but only abject cowardice or pitiable imbecility could have lost such a position to so small an army; and the Rebels also fought well. We gained ground on both flanks; holding it thereafter on the north, where two negro regiments (1st and 3d Louisiana) vied with the bravest: making three desperate charges on Rebel batteries, losing heavily, but maintaining their position in the hottest forefront to the close. The 1st Louisiana (colored) Engineers were also on trial that day, and justified the most sanguine expectations by their good conduct. Not that they fought better than our White veterans: they did not, and could not: but there had been so much incredulity avowed as to negro courage, so much wit lavished on the idea of negroes fighting to any purpose, that Gen. Banks was justified in according especial commendation to these; saying, “No troops could be more determined or more daring.” The conflict closed about sunset.

We lost in this desperate struggle 293 killed, including Cols. Clarke, 6th Michigan, D. S. Cowles, 128th New York (transfixed by a bayonet), Payne, 2d Louisiana, and Chapin, 30th Mass., with 1,549 wounded, among whom were Gen. T. W. Sherman, severely, and Gen. Neal Dow, slightly. The Rebel loss was of course much less — probably not 300 in all.30

There was a truce next day to enable us to bury our dead; after which, our soldiers addressed themselves in sober earnest to the arduous labor of digging and battering their way into the works which had proved impervious to their more impetuous endeavor. This was no holiday task, under the torrid sun of a Southern June, with Rebel sharp-shooters close at hand, ever on the keen watch for chances to obey the Donnybrook injunction, “ Wherever you see a head, hit it;” but our boys worked with a will; and soon the pick and spade were pushing zig-zag trenches up to the Rebel works; while the heavy guns of our batteries, alternating their thunders with those of the fleet, gave fresh illustrations of the truth that “there is no peace for the wicked.” 31 [334]

Gen. Banks's position was far from enviable. His small army — now scarcely numbering 12,000 effective men — was isolated in a thinly settled, partially devastated,exhausted, and intensely hostile region. It was largely composed of nine-months men, whose terms of service had expired or would soon expire, whose hearts yearned toward loved ones far away, and who decidedly preferred a sure prospect of going home to their chance (if shot) of going to heaven. There were some 2,500 Rebel cavalry in close proximity to his rear, in addition to the garrison of 6,000 or over in his front; his necessary concentration for this siege had left nearly all Louisiana open to Dick Taylor, who would inevitably retrace his steps across the country out of which he had so lately been driven, capturing and conscripting by the way; and he might, very possibly, [335] bring from Texas a force sufficient to capture New Orleans itself. Jo. Johnston, with an overwhelming force, might swoop down from Jackson at any moment; Alabama and Georgia might supply a fresh force adequate to the raising of the siege and the rout of the besiegers; add to which, Lee — so recently victorious at Chancellorsville — might dispatch a corps of veterans by rail for the relief of Gardner and his important post. The Rebel line of defense was three or four miles long; ours, encircling theirs, of course considerably longer; so that a stealthy concentration of the garrison on any point must render it immensely stronger there, for a time, than all who could be rallied to resist it. With Vicksburg proudly defying Grant's most strenuous efforts, and Lee impelling his triumphant legions across the Potomac, the chances were decidedly against the undisturbed prosecution of this siege to a successful issue.

After a fortnight's steady digging and firing, a fresh attempt was made,32 under a heavy fire of artillery, to establish our lines within attacking distance of the enemy's works, so as to avoid the heavy losses incurred in moving over the ground in their front. Our men advanced at 3 A. M., working their way through the difficult abatis; but the movement was promptly detected by the enemy, and defeated, with the loss on our side of some scores as prisoners.

Four days later, a second general assault was made:33 Gen. Dwight, on our left, attempting to push up unobserved through a ravine and rush over the enemy's works while his attention should be absorbed by the more palpable advance of Gens. Grover and Weitzel on our right. Neither attack fully succeeded; but our lines were permanently advanced, at some cost, from an average distance of 300 yards, to one of 50 to 200 yards from the enemy's works; and here our men intrenched themselves and commenced the erection of new batteries. On our left, an eminence was carried and held which commanded a vital point of the defenses, known as “the Citadel” ; and which enabled Dwight, some days later, to seize and hold a point on the same ridge with “ the Citadel,” and only ten yards from the enemy's lines. Banks professes to think the day's gains worth their price; but, as he had few men to spare, he did not choose to pay at that rate for any more ground, restricting his efforts thenceforth to digging and battering; Farragut still cooperating to make the slumbers of the besieged as uneasy as might be.

That garrison was not beaten: it was worn out and starved out. A shell fired its mill, burning it, with over 2,000 bushels of corn. Its guns were successively disabled by the remarkable accuracy of our fire, till but 15 remained effective on the landward defenses. Its ammunition for small arms was gradually expended, until but twenty rounds per man remained; and but little more for the artillery. Its meat at length gave out; when its mules were killed and their flesh served out; the men eating it without grumbling. Rats stood a poor chance in their peopled trenches: being caught, cooked, eaten, and pronounced equal as food to squirrels. And thus the tedious [336] hours rolled on, until the last hope of seasonable relief had all but faded into the deadly stupor of blank despair.

And still the besiegers worked on; losing some men daily by cannonballs and the more deadly Minie bullet of the sharp-shooter, but gaining ground foot by foot, until our saps on the right had been pushed up to the very line of the defenses; while on our left a mine had been prepared for a charge of thirty barrels of powder, where its explosion must have caused the destruction of “the Citadel.”

Even had the garrison been full fed and in healthy vigor, they could not have held the place a week longer, unless by successful sallies that virtually raised the siege; whereas, they were utterly exhausted, debilitated, and worn out by famine, overwork, and lack of sleep; until the hospitals were crowded with them, and not half their number could have stood up to fight through a day's earnest battle.

Suddenly, our batteries and gunboats shook34 the heavens with one tremendous salute, while cheer upon cheer rose from behind our works, rolling from the gunboats above to those below the defenses, and back again, in billows of unmistakable exultation. It was not “ the glorious Fourth,” but two days after it; and the sinking hearts of the besieged anticipated the tidings before our men shouted across to them, “Vicksburg has surrendered!” No one needed to be told that, if that was the truth, further resistance was folly — that reenforcements would soon be steaming down the river which would render holding out impossible.

That evening, Gardner summoned a council of his six highest subordinates, who unanimously decided that the place must be surrendered. Thereupon, he opened communication with Banks, asking if the news shouted across the lines was authentic. Banks, in reply, inclosed him Gen. Grant's letter, announcing the surrender; whereupon, Gardner applied for a cessation of hostilities, with a view to negotiations as to terms. This was declined. The Rebel commander then averred his willingness to surrender on conditions; when conferees were appointed on either side, and terms of capitulation finally agreed35 upon, whereby the garrison became prisoners of war; our forces entering and taking formal possession next morning; when thousands of the victors and the vanquished met and fraternized rather as friends who had been temporarily estranged, than as enemies so lately confronted in mortal strife.

Gen. Banks does not report his aggregate loss in this siege; but it can hardly have fallen short, in the entire 45 days, of 3,000 men; including, beside those already named, Cols. Bean, 4th Wise., Holcomb, 1st La., Smith, 160th N. Y. (Zouaves), Lt.-Cols. Lowell, 8th N. H., Rodman, 38th Mass., and other valued officers. Brig.-Gen. Paine was wounded in the assault of June 14th. Banks says the Rebels admitted a loss during the siege of 610 only; but he is confident that it could not have been less than 800 to 1,000; as he found 500 wounded in the hospitals — most of them severely in the head, by the [337] bullets of our sharp-shooters. His prisoners captured in the Port (the sick and wounded inclusive) were 6,408, of whom 455 were officers; while his own force that day was less than 10,000 men. His captures, during the campaign so gloriously terminated, he states at 10,584 men, 73 guns, 6,000 small arms, beside 3 gunboats, 8 other steamboats, and cotton, cattle, &c., &c., to an immense value.

Gen. Banks's sudden withdrawal from Alexandria and the Red river, and the employment of nearly all his disposable force in the siege of Port Hudson, necessarily proffered opportunities which Dick Taylor was on the alert to improve. Collecting in Upper Louisiana a force of some thousands, including several regiments, mainly of cavalry, from Texas, he, early in June, reoccupied Alexandria and Opelousas; moving thence rapidly down the Atchafalaya, as if making directly for New Orleans. His approach appeared to have been made known to our officers at the front only by vague rumors, often circulated on purpose to mislead; but our advanced posts were drawn back across the Atchafalaya to Brashear ; Berwick, just across the bayou, having been needlessly, therefore culpably, bombarded and ultimately burned36 by a Mr. Ryder, in command of our only gunboat in the bayou. There was abundance of fuss and aimless activity, but no real preparation at Brashear, whither Lt.-Col. Stickney had been recently sent over by Gen. Emory, at New Orleans, to take command: there were no intrenchments, though thousands of willing contrabands were there to dig them; no mustering and drilling of the hundreds of idle convalescents in the hospital camps, awaiting orders to rejoin their regiments; and when at length word came that the Rebels had struck our line of communication and supply at Lafourche, well toward New Orleans, Stickney hurried down, with most of his effectives, to its defense. The enemy easily swept over Thibodeaux, Terre Bonne, and Bayou Boeuf, capturing our few men stationed at each post; while a cooperating force, under Gens. Mouton and Green, suddenly appeared37 amid the ruins of Berwick, threatening Brashear, which was held by a sick Colonel and a motley garrison, without organization or discipline; who had hardly begun to fight when a charge was made on their rear by Major Hunter, with 325 Texans, who had crossed the bayou in row-boats during the preceding night, and working their way through swamps which were on our side supposed impassable, were ready to rush in at the opportune moment, while Col. Majors, from the direction of Lafourche, barred all egress to or reenforcement from our rear. Fort Buchanan, mounting ten heavy guns, was formidable in front or toward the bayou only: it could not fire a slot eastward; and, in a few minutes, it was stormed and carried by the ragged Texans, who had easily disposed of the infantry mob behind it. Ryder, with his gunboat, made all haste to run away; affording a fresh proof that Vandals are almost always cowards. It was still early morning when Taylor, Mouton, and Green, as well as Hunter, were in Brashear, [338] which we had shamefully lost, with nearly 1,000 prisoners, a strong fort, 10 heavy guns, many small arms, and tents, equipments, supplies, valued by the enemy at $6,000,000, and possibly worth to us $2,000,000. Thousands of negroes, liberated by Banks's triumphant advance to Alexandria, were reduced by this and our kindred reverses to a harsher slavery than that from which they had so recently been delivered.

The road to New Orleans38--at least, to Algiers, its western suburb — was now open; for Lafourche had been evacuated by Stickney after a gallant defense by the 47th Massachusetts, in which they had repulsed two assaults; but Taylor was too weak to make the great venture. If he had, as is asserted, but 4,000 men at Brashear and between it and La fourche, he could not have assailed New Orleans with more than double that number at most; and, so long as Farragut held the mastery of the river, this was not enough even to compel Banks to raise the siege of Port Hudson.39

Moving north instead of east, Taylor's van, under Green, menaced Donaldsonville, while a small force of Texans, raiding into Plaquemine, burned two steamboats lying there, and took 68 convalescents prisoners; but were soon shelled out by the gunboat Winona.

Green next attempted40 to carry Donaldsonville by assault; but Farragut had been seasonably apprised of his intention, and had sent thither the Princess Royal, Kineo, and Winona; which, cooperating with the little garrison (225) of the 28th Maine, Maj. Bullen, tore the assaulting column with their shells, and soon put the Rebels to flight, with a loss of 200 killed and wounded, and 124 prisoners. Among their killed was Col. Phillips.

Pollard reports another fight,41 six miles from Donaldsonville, between 1,200 Texans, under Green, and “the enemy, over 4,000 strong;” wherein we were beaten, with a loss of 500 killed and wounded, 300 prisoners, 3 guns, many small arms, and the flag of a New York regiment. Banks's report is silent with regard to this fight; yet it seems that a collision actually took place; the forces on our side being commanded by Gen. Dudley, and our loss considerable--450 killed and wounded, with two guns, says a newspaper report. The affair can not have been creditable to the Union side, or it would not have been so completely hushed up.

Gen. Banks's force in the field having been rendered disposable by the fall of Port Hudson, Taylor and his subordinates made haste to abandon the country east of the Atchafalaya; evacuating42 Brashear City just one month after its capture; but not till they had carefully stripped it of [339] every thing of value that was either movable or combustible.

Gen. Banks now united with Gen. Grant in urging an immediate combined movement upon Mobile; but the suggestion was overruled at Washington, in deference to the urgent representations of Texan refugees; and Gen. B. directed43 to operate against Texas. He was advised that a movement by the Red river on Natchitoches or Shreveport was deemed most feasible, but was authorized to act as his own judgment should dictate. Deeming the route suggested impracticable at that season, he decided to demonstrate by way of the Sabine, with houston as his objective point. Accordingly, an expedition, including a land force of 4,000 men, was fitted out at New Orleans, and dispatched44 to the Sabine, under command of Maj.-Gen. Franklin; the naval force, detailed by Admiral Farragut, consisting of the gunboats Clifton, Sachem, Arizona, and Granite City, under command of Lt. Fred. Crocker. Banks gave Franklin written instructions to debark his troops 10 or 12 miles below Sabine Pass; thence moving rapidly on the Rebel defenses, unless a naval reconnoissance should prove those works unoccupied, or so weak that they could be easily and promptly reduced by bombardment.

Decently managed, this movement could not have miscarried. The troops were abundant and efficient; the weather fine; the sea smooth; and the enemy unwarned of the point of attack. But Franklin and Crocker decided to take the works at once by a naval attack; and, without landing the troops, moved45 directly upon them with the gunboats, after having been 24 hours in sight, so as to give the Rebels ample warning of their peril.

The result proved this a foolhardy procedure. The gunboats were old merchant steamers, of inferior strength; their guns were of mode rate caliber, and made no impression on the Rebel works; while several of them son grounded in the shallow water of the Pass, where they were exposed to certain destruction by the fire of the batteries, and were soon torn to pieces; when Crocker surrendered the Clifton, as Lt. Johnson did the Sachem; each having been quickly disabled by a shot through her boiler — Franklin thus achieving the distinction of being the first American General [for Renshaw was not a General] who managed to lose a fleet in a contest with land batteries alone. The Arizona grounded, and had her engine disabled; but was kedged off with difficulty at midnight, having received no damage. She was, in fact, of too heavy draft to run fairly abreast of the batteries — at least, to maneuver there with safety. Crocker and Johnson fought their vessels bravely and well; but they were light-draft boats, utterly unfit to assail such batteries, and should not have been impelled to their certain destruction. Our loss in this affair, beside the two boats and their 15 heavy rifled guns, was 50 killed and wounded, beside 200 prisoners--in all, just about equal to the whole number of Rebels engaged; of whom (says Pollard) “not a man was lost on our side, nor a gun injured.”

Franklin had still his 4.000 soldiers, [340] with his transports and two remaining gunboats; while there were not Rebel soldiers enough within a day's ride to have brought to a halt one of his regiments, properly led. Dick Taylor's force, such as it was, was far away; Houston, flanking Galveston, was but 40 miles distant; Gen. Washburne was at Brashear, with a force equal to Franklin's, ready to cooperate in the purposed advance, in case the latter had taken these poor earth works, defended by a captain46 and 250 men, and sent back his transports for reenforcements. Instead of taking them, however, or even trying, Franklin — finding no place to land where lie might not get his feet wet — slunk meekly back to New Orleans;47 leaving the Texans to exult, very fairly, over a fruitful victory gained against odds of at least twenty to one.

Gen. Banks now concentrated his disposable forces on the Atchafalaya, with intent to advance directly upon Shreveport; but found this utterly impracticable. The country west and north-west of Brashear had been so exhausted by the armies that had successively occupied it that no food and little forage was to be gleaned from it; an intense drouth now prevailed all over that flat region; where, though bayous abound, living springs and brooks of drinkable water are scarce; the roads were few and very bad, often winding for miles through dense forests; and it was not possible to transport by wagons all the food and forage needed by an army strong enough to overcome all probable resistance. No course seemed open for a fulfillment of the desires and expectations of the Government concerning Texas but that of a marine expedition; which was accordingly resolved on.

Meantime, a considerable force lad been sent, under Gen. F. J. Herron, to Morganzia, opposite but above Port Hudson, were the Rebels had a vicious habit of taking advantage of tile narrowness and crookedness of the Mississippi to “ bushwhack ” our passing vessels. No resistance being here encountered, an outpost had been established several miles inland, consisting of the 19th Iowa and 26th Indiana, with two guns, under Lt.-Col. Leake, with 150 cavalry, under Major Montgomery--in all, some 600 to 800 strong. Though it was known that Green, with a far stronger Rebel force, was in their front across the Atchafalaya, no proper vigilance was exercised; and, three weeks after this outpost had been established, it was surprised48 by Green, who, with a far superior foree, crossed the bayou during a dark night, surrounded our camp, and captured our guns and most of our infantry — not less than 400, including Leake and Lt.-Col. Rose. The cavalry escaped with a loss of five men. We had 14 killed and 40 wounded. Gen. N. J. T. Dana had just succeeded Herron in command at Morganzia.

In order to mask his intended movement on Texas by sea, Gen. Banks now pushed out a considerable force, under Gen. C. C. Washburne, to Opelousas, which was reached without a conflict; but, when Washburne commenced49 his retreat to the Teche, pursuant to orders, the Rebels, under Taylor and Green, followed sharply on his track, and, [341] stealing up,50 under cover of woods, to our right, under Gen. Burbridge, struck suddenly and heavily, about noon, while the 23d Wisconsin was engaged in voting for State officers — that being election day in their State. That regiment was speedily reduced from 226 to 98 men — many of the rest, of course, prisoners, including its Colonel, Guppy, who was wounded; while the brigade of which it formed a part went into the fight numbering 1,010, and came out 361. The loss was mainly in the 67th Indiana, which ingloriously surrendered without having lost a man. Our right, thus suddenly assailed in great force, and with intense fury, was broken, and was saved from utter destruction by the devoted bravery of the 23d Wisconsin and the efficient service of Nim's battery. We lost one gun, which was not recovered; the Rebels, upon the bringing up of the 3d division, Gen. McGinnis, retreating rapidly to the shelter of the adjacent woods. Washburne reports a loss of 26 killed, 124 wounded, and 566 missing (prisoners); total: 716. The Rebels lost 60 killed, 65 prisoners, and 300 wounded.

Gen. Banks's new expedition, 6,000 strong, led by Banks himself, but more immediately commanded by Gen. Dana, made51 directly for the Rio Grande, debarking52 at Brazos Santiago, driving off the small cavalry force there stationed, and following it to Brownsville, 30 miles above, which was entered by our advance on the 16th; as was Point Isabel two days later. The Rebel works commanding Aransas Pass were next taken by assault, which gave us their guns and 100 prisoners. Moving thence on Pass Cavallo, commanding the western entrance to Matagorda Bay, our army invested Fort Esperanza, which was thereupon abandoned; most of its garrison escaping to the main land.

Banks had expected to follow up this success — which gave us control of the coast from the Rio Grande to the Brazos — by a movement on Indianola or on Matagorda: but this involved a collision with whatever Rebel force could be collected in Texas; and he deemed himself too weak to challenge such an encounter. With a moderate reinforcement, he might have seized Galveston Island — sealing up the coast of Texas against blockade-runners: as it was, he felt obliged to desist and return to New Orleans.

Gen. Dana. after Banks had left him in command at Brownsville, sent an expedition up the river 120 miles to Roma, which encountered much privation, but no enemy; then another 70 miles eastward, toward Corpus Christi, which found no Rebel force in this direction. The Rebels had shifted their Mexican trade to Eagle Pass, 350 miles up, whither Dana was unable to follow them. Being afterward ordered to Pass Cavallo, he found53 two of our brigades in quiet possession of Indianola, on the main land, with an equal force on the Matagorda peninsula opposite, and all Texas west of the Colorado virtually abandoned to our arms. He believed we had force enough then on that coast to have moved boldly inland and contested the mastery of the State; but he was overruled, and soon relieved from command.

1 May 17, 1862.

2 Oct. 8.

3 Dec. 28.

4 Aug. 16-18.

5 Oct. 31.

6 Dec. 31, 1862.

7 There are all manner of conflicting statements concerning this truce: each party charging the other with violating it by acting while it lasted as if it had no existence. One Union writer says that the Rebels only demanded that our vessels should quit the harbor within three hours. This would render Renshaw's conduct with regard to his ship less mysterious. The Houston Telegraph of Jan. 5 had an account of the whole affair by an eye-witness, who makes the truce a Rebel trick from its inception. He says:

The propeller Owasco lay in the channel, about three-fourths of a mile from the Bayou City and Harriet Lane. As the Lane was boarded, the Owasco steamed up to within 200 or 300 yards of them, firing into both. The force of the collision drove tie Bayou City's stem so far into and under the wheel and gunwale of the Lane that she could not be got out. The Lane was also so careened that her guns could not be worked. and were consequently useless. They both lay, therefore, at the mercy of the Owasco. Herculean efforts were made to extricate them.

The Owasco, evidently fearing the Lane's guns, withdrew to a position about a mile distant. It became plainly evident that, unless the Bayou City and Harriet Lane could be separated, the enemy could escape if they wished. To gain time, therefore, a flag of truce was taken to the Owasco and Clifton, now lying close together. and a demand for a surrender. Time was asked to communicate with Com. Renshaw. who was on the Westfield. A truce of three hours was agreed upon. During the truce with the vessels, the unconditional surrender of these [Mass.] men was demanded and complied with.

8 Magruder, in his official report, unqualifiedly asserts that he had given Renshaw tree hours' truce, and that the latter had agreed to surrender--which is so irreconcilable with established facts that I can only credit it on the assumption that they had acted in concert throughout.

9 Formerly representative in Congress from Texas.

10 Magruder says a schooner also.

11 Jan. 21, 1863.

12 Jan. 11, 3 1/2 P. M.

13 Dec. 11, 1862.

14 Dec. 18, 1862.

15 Jan. 11, 1863.

16 Jan. 14.

17 Feb. 10.

18 See page 298.

19 March 13-14.

20 He says, in his official report, citing Brig.-Gen. W. W. R. Beall, of the garrison, as his authority:

The strength of the enemy at Port Hudson was then believed to be from 18,000 to 20,000. It is now known, with absolute certainty, that the garrison. on the night of the 14th of March. 1863, was not less than 16,000 effective troops.

21 April 9-10.

22 April 20.

23 May 2.

24 May 5-9.

25 Dated the 10th.

26 May 14-15.

27 Night of May 23.

28 May 25.

29 May 27.

30 Gen. Banks reported that the 15th Arkansas, out of a total of 292, lost during the siege 132; of whom 76 fell this day.

31 The following extracts from the diary of a Rebel soldier (John A. Kennedy, 1st Alabama), who was captured while endeavoring to make his way out through our lines with a letter in cipher from Gardner to Jo. Johnston, gives the most vivid inside view of the siege:

May 29.--The fight continued until long after night yesterday evening. Tile fight has opened — it opened at daybreak. The fight has been very warm to-day. I received a shot in the foot, but it is slight. The Yanks attempted to charge tile works, but was repulsed. It has clouded up and is raining. We have a muddy time — a very wet time for sleeping.

May 30.--The fight opened at daylight. Our company has three wounded in the hospital. The Yanks have been sharp-shooting all day. We lave lost but one man belonging to company B. The Yanks are building rifle-pits — they fire very close. I have been sharp-shooting some to-day. The boys arc very lively.

May 31.--We had a very lot time last night. We have quit living like men and are living like hogs. The Yanks have built rifle-pits with portholes. Our battery was silenced this morning; 5 of company A was wounded. Our regiment has lost 26 killed and 40 or 50 wounded. We have been relieved from our position by Miles's Legion. We will return to our position, I guess, to-morrow. The Yanks are shelling from the lower fleet. Ten of us are going at a time to camps to get clean clothes.

June 1.--I was on guard last night. The Yanks shelled us last night, but did no damage. Sam Hagin and Bob Bailey was killed by a rifle cannon-shot this morning. The Yanks are still sharp-shooting, also using their artillery. They have dismounted all our grins. They are the best artillerists I ever saw. The lower fleet has pitched us a few shots from Long Tom.

June 2.--The lower fleet shelled us last night. I am a little unwell this morning. There has not been much lighting to-day. The artillery is booming occasionally, and the sharp-shooters are still popping away. The Yanks threw a few balls at one of our batteries near us to-day. It is reported that we have reenforcements between Clinton and Osica.

June 3.--The Yanks has been shooting all around us to-day. The Hessions seem to be rather afraid to attempt to storm our works again; but seem rather inclined to starve us out. I hope we will receive reenforcements in time to prevent it. Heaven help us!

June 4.--I am very unwell this morning. The lower fleet shelled us last night. The shells made the boys. hunt a place of safety; such as ditches, rat-holes, trees, etc. We are going to our old position. I am sick at camp.

June 5.--We are still besieged by the Yanks. Another day has passed and no reenforcements. Sim Herring was wounded in the head to-day. The Yanks are still sharp-shooting, also using their artillery with but little effect. We hear a great many different reports.

June 6.--The river is falling very fast. It is very, very hot weather. Several shots from “Whistling Dick” came over our camp to-day. Sewell is shelling the Yanks. I expect to go to the breastworks in the morning. Several of the boys are at camp, sick.

June 7.--Another day has dawned and no reenforcements. I shall go to the breastworks this morning. The Yanks are still popping away from their rifle-pits. One of company B was killed to-day while looking over the breastwork. It is very, very hot, and we have lain in the ditch all day.

June 8.--The Yanks began to sharp-shoot at daybreak. We had two men killed yesterday. I am afraid some of our company will get shot next. Another day has dawned and no reenforcements, but I hope we will receive them soon. The Yanks have been shelling our breastworks, but no damage done. It is very disagreeable sitting in these dirty ditches — but this the Confederate solder expects and bears cheerfully; but another long hot day has passed, and who knows what may be our situation at this time to-morrow evening?

June 9.--The Yanks attempted a charge last evening but was repulsed. Whistling Dick is at work to-day; it has played a full hand, too. Whistling Dick is tearing our camps all to pieces. Charley Dixon and Berry Hagin was wounded by fragments of our cook shelter, which was shot down. Our sick has been removed to the ravine. It is difficult to get something to eat. The Yankee artillery is playing upon us all around. The Heshians burned our commissary with a shell to-day.

June 10.--Another day and night has passed, and this poor, worn-out garrison has received no assistance. We have lain in the ditches twenty days, and still there is no prospect of succor — but I truly hope we will soon receive reenforcements. The men is getting sick very fast. The Yankee artillery is keeping a dreadful noise. I and Mormon have been detailed for some extra duty. The Hessions gave us a few rounds as we were crossing the field. I received dispatches from the General in person.

June 11.--The Yanks used their artillery at a tremendous rate last night. I went to or attempted to visit Col. Steedman's headquarters. I had a gay time trying to find them: falling in ravines, etc. I was in a hot place, shure. We captured a Yankee Captain and Lieutenant last night. The Yanks seemed disposed to make a general assault last night.

At this point, the journal suddenly stops; the author having been taken prisoner.

32 June 10.

33 June 14.

34 July 6.

35 July 8.

36 June 19.

37 June 22.

38 Tne Louisiana Democrat (Alexandria, July 1) has a magnifying Rebel letter from one engaged in the capture of Brashear, who claims for that post an importance hardly second to Vicksburg, numbers 1,800 prisoners and 6,000 negroes among the spoils, and adds:

This brilliant campaign of Gen. Taylor has another great object in view, and one of vast importance, namely: A diversion to force the enemy to raise the siege of Port Hudson. He now has his choice, to lose New Orleans or to abandon his operations against Port Hudson, and retire with his beaten and demoralized army into that city.

39 Banks says that barely 400 of our men at one time held New Orleans; but the river and the fleet, with his army not far away, were its main defenses.

40 June 28, 1 A. M.

41 July 12.

42 July 22.

43 Aug. 12; by dispatch received Aug. 27.

44 Sept. 5.

45 Sept. 8, 3 P. M.

46 F. A. Odlum.

47 Arriving Sept. 11.

48 Sept. 30.

49 Nov. 1.

50 Nov. 3.

51 Oct. 26.

52 Nov. 2.

53 Jan. 12, 1864.

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Matagorda Island (Texas, United States) (2)
Harrisburg (Texas, United States) (2)
Grand Lake (Louisiana, United States) (2)
Galveston Island (Texas, United States) (2)
Berwick City (Louisiana, United States) (2)
Aransas Pass (Texas, United States) (2)
Alabama (Alabama, United States) (2)
Williamsport (Louisiana, United States) (1)
Washington (United States) (1)
Vermilion Bayou (Louisiana, United States) (1)
Trinity (Texas, United States) (1)
Staulkinghead Creek (Louisiana, United States) (1)
Ship Island (Mississippi, United States) (1)
San Jacinto River (Texas, United States) (1)
Port Isabel (Texas, United States) (1)
Point Isabel (Alabama, United States) (1)
Pensacola (Florida, United States) (1)
Pelican (Louisiana, United States) (1)
Mobile, Ala. (Alabama, United States) (1)
Mississippi (United States) (1)
Mississippi (Mississippi, United States) (1)
Mexico (Mexico) (1)
Matagorda, Texas (Texas, United States) (1)
Matagorda Bay (Texas, United States) (1)
Massachusetts (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Kingston (Jamaica) (1)
Key West (Florida, United States) (1)
Jackson (Mississippi, United States) (1)
Irish Bend (Louisiana, United States) (1)
Grand Ecore (Louisiana, United States) (1)
Georgia (Georgia, United States) (1)
Genesee River (United States) (1)
Galveston Bay (Texas, United States) (1)
Fort Island (Florida, United States) (1)
Fort De Russy (Louisiana, United States) (1)
Essex (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Eagle Pass (Texas, United States) (1)
De Soto, Jefferson County, Missouri (Missouri, United States) (1)
Cowleech Fork Sabine River (Texas, United States) (1)
Clinton, La. (Louisiana, United States) (1)
Chancellorsville (Virginia, United States) (1)
Buffalo Bayou (Texas, United States) (1)
Algiers (Algeria) (1)

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