in accordance with my design, at Miner's Point, 6 miles below this place, directing my transports to follow up the column, carrying the baggage and caissons. I entered this place without opposition at about 10 a.m. I hear so many conflicting reports as the the strength and position of the enemy's forces that I sent out a reconnaissance of two companies of infantry, of the Thirteenth Connecticut, under the command of Captains McCord and Schlieter, and Perkins' cavalry, accompanied by my adjutant-general, Captain Hubbard. They drove in the enemy's pickets, and report the force encamped on both sides of Bayou La Fourche, and represented to them as numbering 3,000. I could not get my train off soon enough and loaded to start to-day, as I would thus come upon the enemy too late in evening; but I propose to start to-morrow early.
Captain [Richard] Barrett and Lieutenant [S. A.] Perkins, in a fine dash upon the enemy's pickets, captured a number of prisoners (13), all of whom I released on parole.
I have not the least doubt but that the enemy will concentrate to meet me at Thibodeaux; in what force I cannot positively state, but it is said to be pretty large. I am informed that General Mouton is now in command, and has with him the remainder of the Eighteenth Louisiana Regiment, which has seen some service. I will leave the First Louisiana here to hold this post, and must request you to order them supplied with provisions from the city. I hope you will give me a vigorous co-operation from the railroad.
In conclusion I must thank Captain [George M.] Ransom, in command of the Kineo and the gunboat fleet, for his vigorous and efficient co-operation with me thus far in my expedition. He manifested that same disposition to co-operate with the Army of the full extent of his powers for which he has already become famous. The same praise is due to Captain [Reigart B.] Lowry, commanding the gunboat Sciotta; Captain [Francis A.] Roe, commanding the gunboat Katahdin, and Captain [R. F. R.] Lewis, commanding the gunboat Itasca. My transports were not fired upon at all, so well were they covered by the gunboats.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
BrigadierGeneral U. S. Vols., Comdg. Reserve Brigadier, Dept. of the Gulf.
Major GEORGE C. STRONG,
Asst. Adjt. General, Dept. of the Gufl, New Orleans, La.
HEADQUARTERS RESERVE BRIGADE,
Bayou La Fourche, near Thibodeaux, La., October 29, 1862.
MAJOR: I have the honor to report that this morning at 6 o'clock i dispatched Colonel Birge, in command of his regiment (the Thirteenth Connecticut), Barrett's cavalry, and one section of Carruth's battery, down the Bayou La Fourche to open communication with the city. I have just received a dispatch from him from Raceland Station, in which he says that he has communicated with Colonel Thomas, who is 1 1/2 miles from him. He found at the station three freight cars, one passenger car, two barbette guns, spiked (32-pounders), two 12-pounder iron howitzers, in good order, and guns, equipments, &c., scattered along the road.
I therefore propose now to give you a more detailed report of my operations since I left Donaldsonville. I left this place at 6 o'clock on Sunday morning last and marched on the left bank until I was within