War of the Rebellion: Serial 084 Page 0649 Chapter LIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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be unable to meet my courier any longer at Bayou Goula. The courier I sent Thursday was chased several miles by guerrillas and barely escaped. I cannot keep up the communication with Plaquemine without Major Shaw has orders to continue them. All quiet here.

W. O. FISKE,

Colonel, Commanding.

BONNET CARRE, August 11, 1864.

(Received 9.10 a. m.)

Major GEORGE B. DRAKE,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

I have the honor to report all quiet. The force reported last night is supposed to be Doyal's company. Colonel Scott with his command is reported to have left for Clinton.

CYRUS HAMLIN,

Colonel, Commanding District.

DEPARTMENT OF ARKANSAS,

Little Rock, Ark., August 11, 1864.

Brigadier General J. W. DAVIDSON,

Chief of Cavalry, Military Division of West Mississippi:

GENERAL: I have the honor to transmit the following report as the result of my observation of, and inquiries in relation to, the cavalry command of this department, of its organization and the manner in which duty is performed by some of the staff departments upon which it is dependent:

I. The most of the cavalry of this department is now brigaded and each of these brigades, with one exception, is attached to some infantry division. That portion of the cavalry which is not brigaded is attached to such commands, from time to time, as in the opinion of the department commander require their services in conjunction with their own.

II. There is no chief of cavalry, or any one whose particular duty it is to attend to the wants of or correct the faults that my exist in this arm of the service. Neither is there any officer who is on duty as inspector of cavalry, and until such an officer is appointed we shall not be able to obtain a consolidated inspection report of the cavalry command in this department.

III. There is a large number of enlisted men in the cavalry force which are reported as being dismounted, while there is a large number of horses being worked in the teams under the charge of the post quartermaster of Little Rock which are suitable for both cavalry and artillery service. These animals should be issued to troops and their places supplied by good conditioned mules, which are now grazing on the prairies near Devall's Bluff. There are also many good horses being ridden by clerks and employes in the quartermaster's and other departments where smaller and less valuable animals would answer the same purposes. The ration of forage received for the cavalry horses here does not exceed an average of three pounds of hay and six pounds of grain. This is reported to have been the average of the ration issued for the past six weeks. I believe that the scarcity of forage is caused by the limited amount of water transportation employed for the use of this department, and I fear that in some instances private freight may