War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0171 Chapter XXVII. THE LA FOURCHE DISTRICT, LA.

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HEADQUARTERS RESERVE BRIGADE,

In Camp, near Thibodeaux, La., November 2, 1862.

MAJOR: I have the honor to report that I yesterday sent a force up the bayou to communicate with my hospital above Labadieville. The hospital had been undisturbed. All the people in the neighborhood were viewing with each other in kindness and attention to the wounded of both sides. This country is as safe to travel now as Canal street.

Three men have died from their wounds since we left up there. I propose to remove the rest down here on a flat-boat and send them all to the city.

On Friday evening I received information that a company of the enemy's militia force was encamped a short distance northeast of Thibodeaux, near a swamp. I sent out Perkins to capture them. He started yesterday morning at 3 o'clock, took a circuitous route, through cane fields, over ditches, through swamps, completely outflanked them, and took 53 (nearly the whole company) prisoners, with their arms, horses, and ammunition. It was a complete success. This Perkins is a splendid officer, and he deserves promotion as much as any officer I ever saw. I have not yet heard from [Hawkes] Fearing, whom I pushed on to Tigerville to communicate with the gunboats and repair the bridges. I expect to hear from him to-day.

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

G. WEITZEL,

Brigadier-General, U. S. Vols., Comdg. Reserve Brigade.

Major GEORGE C. STRONG,

Asst. Adjt. General, Dept. of the Gulf, New Orleans, La.

HEADQUARTERS RESERVE BRIGADE,

In Camp, near Thibodeaux, La., November 5, 1862.

MAJOR: I have the honor to report that I have your communication of the 2nd instant. I think it would be very proper to place a field work at or near Donaldsonville. A permanent work, involving the construction of masonry, would be too slow an operation. I think you had better send Lieutenant [John C.] Palfrey up there to locate and construct it. He could carry on Ship Island and that too. A battery also, I think, would be very appropriate at Berwick Bay. I can direct the position and the construction of this battery. It would not be proper to build a work near here, as the communication with it can be easily cut off, and it could be turned readily. And now I desire, most respectfully, to decline the command of the district which has been just created, and which, as we have not yet secured a foot of ground on the Teche, ought properly to be called the District of the La Fourche. The reason I must decline is because accepting the command would place me in command of all the troops in the district.

I cannot command those negro regiments. The commanding general knows well my private opinions on this subject. What I stated to him privately, while on his staff, I see now before my eyes. Since the arrival of the negro regiments symptoms of servile insurrection are becoming apparent. I could not, without breaking my brigade all up, put a force in every part of this district to keep down such an insurrection. I cannot assume the command of such a force, and thus be responsible for its conduct. I have no confidence in the organization. Its moral effect in this community, which is stripped of nearly all its