War of the Rebellion: Serial 084 Page 0258 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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to make such an inspection properly in such a short time. These animals were sold as directed, and I was informed by the acting chief quartermaster Seventeenth Army Corps that the planters formed at first what is called a ring, and no mule or horse received a higher bid than $25. This was broken up on the second day. Lieutenant E. S. Johnson, Ninety-third Illinois Volunteers, post quartermaster at Vicksburg, informed Colonel Sackett that the train of mules he had in charge were in as good condition as any in the service, but were all condemned and sold. Captain Finkler, depot quartermaster at Vicksburg, told Colonel Sackett in May, 1864, that as the Government wanted mules, he thought of buying those brought in by planters, saying that they were very good. Colonel Sackett states that it was well known that these very mules were the ones that had been condemned and sold during the previous the months.

Third. On the 22nd of March, 1864, General L. Thomas directed in his own name that the chief quartermaster at Natchez should transfer to J. H. Weldon, superintendent of the home farm in the Natchez District, unserviceable mules and harness and such other articles as might be needed for the home farm if they could be furnished without detriment to the service. On this order the superintendent claimed corn,oats, and everything he might require from the quartermaster's department. Colonel Kent, of the Twenty-ninth Illinois Volunteers, came and reported to Colonel Sackett in my presence that General Tuttle had informed him that Captain Thomas, First U. S. Artillery, had sent a company of colored soldiers to a plantation, by order of the Secretary of War, with instructions to the captain of the company to report for duty to the lessee, whose orders he would obey; that the captain was much chagrined at the order, but feared to make a complaint, stating that should he do so, he would certainly lose his commission.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN M. WILSON,

Captain and Assistant Inspector-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, New Orleans, July 19, 1864.

Major C. T. CHRISTENSEN,

Asst. Adjt. General, Military Division of West Mississippi:

I have the honor to transmit, for the information of the major-general commanding the military division, copy of a letter received from Brigadier-General McNeil, commanding Port Hudson, relating to the force at that place.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.

[Indorsement.]

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI, New Orleans, July 20, 1864.

Respectfully returned.

In the memorandum of distribution of troops submitted by the commanding general, Department of the Gulf (copy inclosed), it was proposed to make up the permanent garrison at Port Hudson as follows Sixty-second U. S. Colored Infantry, 848 strong; Seventy-sixth U. S. Colored Infantry, 665 strong; Seventy-seventh U. S. Colored Infantry,