skill and correct judgment displayed in the management of this expedition, after he assumed command of it, by that excellent and zealous officer Col. N. A. M. Dudley, Thirtieth Massachusetts, commanding the Third Brigade of Augur's division.
I inclose a copy of Brigadier General William Dwight's official report of an expedition, consisting of his own brigade, of Grover's division, and Ingraham's brigade, of Emory's division, with detachments of cavalry and raillery, sent out under his command on the 17th instant to occupy our positions of the 14th and 15th, on the Bayou Sara and Clinton roads. The object of this expedition, to cover the seizure and transportation to Baton Rouge of large quantities of cotton, which we had discovered between that point and Port Hudson, having been fully accomplished, General Dwight returned the same night.
Small forces of cavalry were sent out to the Comite and Amite Rivers, on the Greensburg and Clay Cut roads, to bring in beef-cattle, horses, and mules. They obtained some quantities of beef and few animals, but the latter are very scarce in this country.
I transferred my headquarters to New Orleans on the 24th.
On the 25th orders were issued to General Grover, already prepared for the movement, to proceed by water to Donaldsonville and thence march to Thibodeaux. The road across the country is not in very good condition, and may be rendered difficult by rains; but, in consequence of the lack of transportation by water and rail, it would require too much time to make the movement over the Opelousas Railway. Forty-eight hours are required to move a single brigade over that road under ordinary circumstances.
Dwight's brigade, of Grover's division, arrived at Donaldsonville to-day. The steamboats were immediately sent back to Baton Rouge for another brigade. Emory, notified to be in readiness, with follow Grover, and will probably have to move over the railway, as we have not enough land transportation to move two divisions at the same time over a road of any length.
Brigadier-General Weitzel telegraphed me on the 18th that he had reliable information of the arrival of the Queen of the West and Webb at Butte-a-la-Rose, and requested that all the light-draught gunboats drawing less than 7 feet should be sent to Berwick Bay at once. Commodore Morris and Commander Alden both informed me that there were no gunboats of that class which would be sent. Without a superior force of gunboats of that class which could be sent. Without a superior force of gunboats in berwick Bay weitzel could not hold his position o those wets. The presence of the two new gunboats at Butte-a-la-Rose seemed to indicate an attack, having for its evident result, if successful, the cutting off of his force. In falling back with his command to Bayou Boeuff Brigde, which movement was carried out on the 21st instant, I am satisfied that General Witzel acted correctly. I went to Bayou Boeuff in person on the 22nd for the purpose of examining the situation of affairs there and conferring with General Weitzel in regard to our future operations. I have ordered the siege train, manned by the Twenty-first Indiana Artillery, Colonel McMillan, and two sections of 20-pounder Parrotts, manned by the Eighteenth New York Battery, to re-enforce General Weitzel. When they arrive we shall have a commanding force of artillery on that line, and Weitzel will then resume his position at Brasher City. I do not now anticipate n attack or that anything of moment will occur in that quarters until we are ready to strike.
I have also the honor to inclose a partial report from Brigadier-General Sherman of a reconnaissance, which, in pursuance of instructions I