your order, and at once ordered the Kinsman, with Lieutenant Loring on board, to overhaul the Diana, and both to make the reconnaissance together. I have full and, I think, perfectly accurate information of the landing at Indian Bend. A steamer drawing 6 feet can get no closer than 3 miles from the shore. The Kinsman, drawing 4 feet, can get within a mile. The flats that we can collect can get within about 100 to 200 yards from the shore. The bottom of the lake at the point is sandy and hard-whether hard enough to bear my light artillery I could not ascertain. There is a levee, which could serve the purpose of an entrenchment, about three-fourths of a mile long, just below the road along the lake shore. The road from the lake to Bayou Teche is good and about three-fourths of a mile long. Where the road strikes the bayou is a ferry. This ferry is a small flat, pulled from one side to the other by a rope. A mile above the ferry is a bridge, the nearest one to the road. The distant from the road to the position which the enemy now occupies below Centreville is 20 miles by road.
I am collecting all the flats I can find. Whether I can get a sufficient number is a question. Whether, after I get them, I can transport my force in them depends upon the weather. The landing will be very slow for everything but infantry, as this can jump overboard. The crossing of the Teche, if the enemy is vigilant, can be made a still slower operation by the destruction of the ferry and bridge or the latter alone.
The gunboats which attack in front must have a force on shore to clear out the rifle pits and to assist in removing the two very serious obstructions in the channel of the Teche, or they cannot get within the range of the enemy at all. Infantry alone on the boats will not accomplish this. If I give from my brigade a force equal to the task I will have too small a force to attack the enemy in rear.
All the information I get of the enemy's movements is, that, in expectation of an attack from a large force, he is concentrating all his troops at Camp Bisland, which is the intrenched position below Centreville. I have ordered an expedition to-night to capture, if possible, some of the enemy's pickets, and through them, if possible, to get information.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
BrigadierGeneral, U. S. Vols., Commanding Fourth Brigade.
Major GeneralC. C. AUGUR,
[Inclosure No. 2.]
By telegraph from La Fourche, La., to Major GeneralC. C. Augur.
A communication from Colonel Holcomb, commanding at Donaldsonville, has just been received. It contains the following:
A refugee who came in from Attakapas this morning reports that the enemy is conscripting everybody, old and young; that they have quite a force on the Teche, but that there is great dissatisfaction among the troops. At Butte-a-la-Rose there are some 400, with four pieces of artillery. Nothing at Camp Pratt.
This agrees with information at Berwick Bay, and indicates a concentration on the Teche.