War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0657 Chapter XVI. EVACUATION OF FORT QUITMAN, ETC.

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tions until the subsiding ware should have deprived the enemy of the means of entering the interior at pleaser.

Had a contrary course been pursued the whole country would have been devastated without a possibility of preventing it. Nine out of every ten persons from that part of the country warmly approved of my decision.

I trust that the Department will not give ear to the many false and absurd rumors that are set afloat by persons who think that there should be an army stationed on every plantation for its protection.

I am satisfied that our present condition is to attributed in a great measure o the fact that we have followed this plan too much already, dispersing instead of concentrating our troops, and thus rendering them an easy prey to the enemy.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL,

Major-General, Commanding.

Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,

Secretary of War.

[Indorsements.]

Respectfully submitted to the President for his information.

G. W. RANDOLPH,

Secretary of War.

Read. It might be well to furnish the complainant with a copy of this reply. The abandonment of the fort was a necessary consequence of the fall of New Orleans and the subsequent events. Whether it was possible to save the armament for use elsewhere was a question which the commanding general of course duly considered. As he established the post under the discretionary power confederate on him, the application of his remark about the error of dispersion is not perceived.

J. D.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Richmond, Va., June 10, 1862.

Major General MANSFIELD LOVELL,

Camp Moore, Tangipahoa, La.:

GENERAL: Your attention is respectfully called to the annexed copy of a letter received from a person in Louisiana in regard to the evacuation of the forts at Grand Caillou, and you are requested to report to this Department the facts of the case.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. W. RANDOLPH,

Secretary of War.

[Inclosure.]

OPELOUSAS, LA., May 21, 1862.

President DAVIS:

DEAR SIR: * * * A steamer (name not know) reached Grand Caillou on the night of the 7th, with 350,000 pounds of powder and 4,500 rifles. The Federals, duly informed of it by telegraph, which has not been cut from Terre Bonne to New Orleans, came by the Opelousas Railroad, which has not been interrupted, and took possession of her on the night of the 8th. A party of determined citizens started on the 10th to recapture her. Eight hundred Federals were sent out from New Or

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