I have now in the Mississippi the Albatross, Arizona, and Sachem, the two latter at Bayou Sara. I have the Estrella on the Atchafalaya. The Pittsburg I sent yesterday to report to Captain Walker, to assist in blockade of Red River. General Grant has been everywhere successful. We hope Vicksburg by this time has fallen. I have received about 120 tons of coal for all of us. Hope to get 100 more from the army. I have sent over an officer with a communication for you.

Commodore PALMER:

To fire from above on the batteries would injure our troops more than the enemy, perhaps.
ALDEN, Captain.

Received. "I cannot see to read, but will send you a message. General Banks' troops are on the Point. Augur is a mile from the forts, and the rest near."

Sent. "Cease signaling."

(In communication with Bayou Sara station.)

MAY 25---7.30 a.m.

Sent. "Where is General Weitzel?"

Received. "He has just passed here."

Sent. "How long since?"

Received. "About two hours ago. Weitzel's brigade is here. He passed to the front himself with one aide at 6 this morning."

Sent. "Who are you? "

Received. "Dana. 'Tis very smoky; use large flag. I leave soon with Weitzel's brigade. Hall remains here."

Sent. Would I were with thee! The guns of the army seem to be shelling Port Hudson.

Received. "Too hard on eyes. Cease signaling."

Sent. "Cease signaling."


(In communication with U. S. S. Richmond.)


General Banks requests me to shell the west side of Thompson's Creek at midnight, to prevent any attempt of the enemy to escape over that side. You can understand the firing.
PALMER, Commodore.

MAY 26---6.30 a.m.

Any news from the army?
PALMER, Commodore.

Received. " Shall leave Port Hudson soon. Closely invested. Paine on the north, then Grover, then Augur, and Sherman on the south. Will assault when practicable. Every one confident of success" (2314).

Sent. "Lieutenant Watson starts for your side at 9 a.m. Let General Banks know there is signal communication between us. Cease signaling."

Received. "Cease signaling."

(In communication with Bayou Sara station.)

9.35 A. M.

Received. "It is impossible to call up Jackson."

Sent. "I signaled with him this morning and called your attention. Is Stephens with you?"

Received. "He is."

Sent. "Keep good watch of me."

Received. "Can see you better in the foretop."

(In communication with U.S. S. Richmond.)

3.05 P.M.


Grierson's cavalry have captured the two steamers in Thompson's Creek.  

Sent. "Can't you read well."

Received. "Tis very windy, and shakes us."

General BANKS:

A lieutenant of Grierson's cavalry is here, and says the enemy cannot escape across Thompson's Creek and between Fancy Point and the river. They must take the Bayou Sara road, if they escape at all. Should you wish me to fire again at night in the direction indicated in your note, throw up a rocket half an hour before I am to begin. Send me the news.
PALMER, Commodore.

MAY 27---6.15 a.m.

Commodore PALMER:

The light artillery opens at daylight, the heavy at 6 a.m. Port Hudson will be ours to-day. The ships will cease firing when the artillery ceases.  
BANKS, General.

Sent. "Cannot read when in motion. Cease signaling."

Received. "Cease signaling."

12.15 P. M.

Commodore PALMER:

All is going well with the army. They push the rebels hard on the right. Do not fire again.
ALDEN, Captain.

Sent. "Do you see this tree?"

Received. "Yes."

Sent. "Well, you are at times hidden behind it. Look often when you signal."

Received. " I will. Cease signaling."

Sent. "S. C."

(In communication with Bayou Sara station.)

MAY 28--7.50 A. M.

Sent. "Has Rich returned front New Orleans?"

Received. "He has not been here."

Sent. "Let Commodore Palmer know when any gunboat arrives from the Atchafalaya."

Received. "I will do so."

Sent "Any news from Grant or front our army?"

Received "I heard yesterday that Captain Hubbard was killed."

Sent. "Any more news? Work faster."

Received. We get none. Cease signaling."

(In communication with U. S. S. Richmond.)

8.40 A. M.

Sent. "The commodore is hungering and thirsting for news. Keep him posted."

Received "An assault was made yesterday. Generals Sherman and Dew wounded. The lower batteries opened on the 'bummers' this morning, but were silenced."

Sent "Was the army loss heavy?"

Received. "I know no more. Cease signaling."

(In communication with Bayou Sara station.)

6.30 P. M.

The Sachem or the Arizona will take position opposite Bayou Sara to-night, near the right bank, and shell the enemy if he appears, which will be a signal to us. Kirby Smith is said to be marching down on that side. Report any alarm immediately to us.
PALMER, Commodore.

MAY 29--7.10 A. M.

Sent. "What had you to send last night?"

Received. "Nothing. They reported you calling. Our loss the day before yesterday was heavy. They were burying the dead yesterday. Cease signaling."

Sent. "General Grant will have Vicksburg within a week."

3.28 P.M.

Did the Arizona go up the river last night? What gunboats are now at Bayou Sara?
PALMER, Commodore.

Received. "The Arizona is just starting. The Sachem is here."

Sent. "Any news?"

Received. "None. Both of my men are sick. I am doing my own flagging."

Sent. "You flag first rate. Has Rich come yet?"

Received. "No. I expect to leave here to-morrow. Cease signaling."

Sent. " Cease signaling."

(In communication with U.S. S. Hartford.)

MAY 30--10.52 A. M.

Sent. "Are you working with another?"

Received. "Yes; with Russell, near Thompson's Creek." Sent. "Done with him?"

Received. "Yes."

Sent. "Had got ready to land on the point opposite Port Hudson and open communication with Russell. Tell him to look for me at 4 p.,m. If advisable, the Hartford may drop down enough to see him. No news for the commodore? Cease signaling."

Received. "No. Cease signaling."

(In communication with U.S. S. Richmond.)

MAY 31--10.50 A.M.


I was on the point opposite Port Hudson yesterday afternoon. Tell General Banks or Weitzel that I wish to repeat my trip and bring my notes to-night, for examination. A battery of Parrotts there would be a thorn in their side. Roads good; levee high; range short. Answer.

JUNE 1--3 p.m.

General BANKS:

An orderly, with dispatches for the Hartford, reached Bayou Sara last night. Not waiting for transportation, he started down by land, and has not yet arrived.
EATON, Lieutenant.

JUNE 2--1 p.m.

Commodore PALMER:

Send prisoners, and tell Colonel Benedict to send contrabands and mules.  

Sent. "What of the fight this morning?"

Received. "Trees are in the way. Cease signaling."

Sent. "Cease signaling."

The Mississippi, which for a fortnight had been falling rapidly, had now subsided 20 feet. Signal communication with the Richmond was intercepted. To restore it, I began cutting a track through a dense and heavy growth of timber 4 miles deep.

On the 19th of June I opened communication with a new station inland, about 6 miles distant, directly in the rear of Port Hudson, and on a line toward General Banks' headquarters.

Sent. "Anything official?"

Received. "No. Use white flag. Can you see my flag well?"

Sent. "I have no other flag. Till 5 p.m., cease signaling."

The new station being visible to both the Hartford and Richmond, communication between us was again resumed.

(In communication, by repeating, with the U.S. S. Hartford.)

JUNE 20--11.20 a.m.

Commodore PALMER:

The admiral has sent a pilot for one of your vessels. Shall I send him over? We have a few letters for your fleet. All quiet here and below.  
ALDEN, Captain, Senior Officer present.

General BANKS:

Commodore Palmer is about to send a gunboat to Vicksburg. Has the general any commands?  

(In communication with U. S. S. Richmond.)

Captain ALDEN:

Send me pilot and letters.
PALMER, Commodore.

(In communication with General Banks' headquarters.)

Commodore PALMER:

The general only wishes you to send word to General Grant that he is confident of success.  
RICH'D B. IRWIN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

JUNE 21--11 a.m.

Anything from Vicksburg?  

No. 'Tis rumored on snore that it's taken.  

JUNE 28--8.50 a.m.

Two orderlies with dispatches from Commodore Palmer are said to have been captured last night at Bayou Sara. Ask Colonel Irwin if it is so.

Can you get over the Point at 11 a.m.?

Sent. "On what part of it?"

Received. "Little this side, to find a lookout to direct the fire of our batteries."

Sent. "I'll go, but 'tis a fool's errand."

June 29--8 a. m,

Wait a moment. Am waiting for orders.

Sent. "From whom?"

Received. "General Dwight. Move a little to the left. How shall the mortars fire to hit the gun on wheels behind the citadel? How many yards is it?"

Sent. "Three hundred and fifty. The gun is not there."

Received. "Where is it?"

Sent. "Fire 800 yards on the verge of the bank. No; fire 600 yards."

Received. "Is it a rifled gun--about 62-pounder?"

Sent. "Yes."

Received. "Six hundred yards from here?"

Sent. "Yes."

Received. "Watch a shot fired at it from the mortar. How was that?"

Sent. "Try it at 500 yards. Neither shell exploded. Fire little to left."

Sent. "Splendid range. Fire 100 yards short of last shot."

Sent. "That did not explode. Could not see where it fell."

Received. "Will try it again; keep watch."

Sent. "That fell 100 yards short. Range good.

Received. "Did you see that?"

Sent. "No; did not explode. Can only see the shells when they burst."

Received. "Will cease firing for the present. Can you see the rebs or the citadel?"

Sent. "Not in the citadel, but scores of them on this side of it."

Received. "Direct our fire at them."

Sent. "All right."

Orders have come to cease firing until further orders. Is it best to remain? The captain commanding the battery will not profit by our instructions. Must see some one higher in authority.

Sent. "Will they permit you to direct the fire of one of the Parrotts?"

Received. "They only bear on the citadel, and all firing has ceased. Shall we go home?"

Sent. "If you can do nothing with those important artillerists, we will vamose."

Received. "I can do nothing. Will send you word if you are to come. Cease signaling."

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