HEADQUARTERS THIRD REGIMENT, THIRD BRIGADE, January 5, 1863.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, January 8, 1863.
Respectfully returned to General Sherman.
This report, taken in connection with the representations contained in the letters of General Grover and Colonel Holcomb, filed herewith, is regarded by the commanding general as unsatisfactory. General Sherman will cause a thorough investigation to be made of the facts and report the results to these headquarters, returning these papers with such report.
By command of Major-General Banks:
RICH'D B. IRWIN,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Assistant Adjutant-General.
[Inclosure No. 1.]
Baton Rouge, La., January 5, 1863.
Hdqrs. Department of the Gulf, New Orleans:
SIR: I have the honor to report that on the afternoon of the 3rd instant I received from Major Bogart, commanding battalion One hundred and sixty-second New York Volunteers, a communication, a copy of which is herewith inclosed, marked A.
In accordance with the request for re-enforcements I immediately ordered three companies of the Fifty-second Massachusetts Volunteers (about 200 aggregate), under the senior captain, to proceed to Plaquemine and report to Major Bogart. This re-enforcement left this post about dark, from two to three hours after the call for re-enforcements.
It appears, however, that about an hour before the Morning Light, with this detachment, reached Plaquemine Major Bogart had evacuated the post, leaving behind, I am informed 20,000 rounds of ball cartridges. I inclose also, marked B, a copy of Major Bogart's report of the matter to me.
On the same boat that took the re-enforcements I sent a communication to Major Bogart, a copy of which I did not keep, owing to the hurry in dispatching the boat. It was, however, to the effect that from reliable information, or what I considered so, there could not be over about 300 of the enemy in the vicinity of Plaquemine, La.
Last night, at about 10 o'clock, Captain Lewis, commanding gunboat Itasca, returned to this post from Donaldsonville, and reported to his commander and immediately to me that the whole command of infantry had gone to Donaldsonville, and that also about twenty-four hours after the evacuation of Plaquemine a gunboat had returned to that point, and two boats' crews had gone ashore and brought away the 20,000 rounds of ammunition; a sufficient proof, I think, that there was no enemy of any consequence about Plaquemine.
Under those circumstances, though in no way under my authority, I considered it necessary for the good of the service and the credit of the