War of the Rebellion: Serial 084 Page 0933 Chapter LIII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.- UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, Plaquemine, La., August 30, 1864.

Major GEORGE B. DRAKE,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Dept.of the Gulf:

MAJOR: I have the honor to transmit the inclosed correspondence between Captain W. B. Ratliff, C. S. Army, and myself, under flag of truce.

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

J. H. SYPHER,

Colonel, Commanding Post, Plaquemine, La.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

ADVANCE POST, August 28, 1864.

Major SHAW,

Commanding U. S. Forces at Plaquemine:

MAJOR: I am directed by His Excellency Henry W. Allen, Governor of the State of Louisiana, and E. Kirby Smith, commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department, to pass through to your lines Lieutenant Colonel T. G. Sparks, a member of the staff of His Excellency,with a flag of truce. He is instructed to inquire whether the reports which have reached headquarters at Shreveport are true, that several unoffending citizens of this State have been arrested to be executed or held in some manner for punishment in retaliation for the alleged killing of certain negroes found in arms near Indian Village by Captain McAnnelly of the C. S. Army. Should these reports prove truce, and you are determined to adopt a course so harsh and at variance with the usages of civilized warfare, he is directed by General E. Kirby Smith to inform you that he will be compelled, however painful the alternative may be, to retaliate by meting out the same punishment, which you may inflict upon them, upon an equal number of the Federal prisoners now in his possession near Shreveport.

I am, major, very respectfully, &c.,

W. B. RATLIFF,

Captain, Commanding Forces West of Atchafalaya.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, Plaquemine, La., August 30, 1864.

Captain W. B. RATLIFF,

Commanding Confederate Forces West of Atchafalaya:

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to communicate, in reply to your letter of 28th of August, 1864, that, to my knowledge, there are no citizens held as prisoners awaiting punishment in retaliation for the reported cruel and inhuman murder of three soldiers of the Eleventh Regiment U. S. Colored Artillery (heavy),captured near Plaquemine, La., by Captain McAnnelly, Confederate forces, on the 6th of August, 1864.

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

J. H. SYPHER,

Colonel, Commanding Post, Plaquemine, La.

NEW ORLEANS, August 30, 1864-8 p.m.

(Received September 5.0

Major-General STEELE:

Your dispatch of the 20th was not received until to-day. I have asked General Washburn to send you General Mower's division at