No. 6. Report of Col. Theodore W. Parmele, One hundred and seventy-fourth New Your Infantry, of operations on west bank of the Mississippi.
ON BOARD STEAMER EMPIRE PARISH,
Off Pofit's Island, Mississippi River, March 17, 1863 - 8 p. m.
COLONEL: I send an officer with this on steamer Morning Light which leaves for rations and coal. I regret that after the severe trials of this day's march I cannot yet report the attainment of its object.
I left with the troops assigned me by the steamers in waiting at 1 o'clock this morning. Not finding the Reliance or any gunboats at Baton Rouge I came without delay, after telegraphing to headquarters. On account of fog we reached here only in time to march at 9 a. m. The disposition of forces was made according to instructions, and but for the long delay in travel more might be reported of importance.
After ten hours of sever marching I returned with my men much worn with their tramp through mud and water. The roads are flooded by recent rain or reported cut in levee below the Point. The latter may be trued. I have sent some cavalry to examine as far as prudent, and will report by next conveyance. Contrabands report the admiral at Waterloo, with the Hartford and Albatross. I took one to Captain Alden, of the Richmond, who dispatched him with some communications to the admiral.
The cause of my return without getting my cavalry to the river was the prolonged march and possible failure by extending my intervals with such poor chances of sustaining them over such roads. I have not seen the enemy in force or detachments, except skulking guerrillas. Our advance signals, after long exchanges, reported the enemy in advance of us, and the skirmishers and cavalry thought them in our rear. I do not credit the reports, but withdrew my cavalry slowly, after standing my regiments several hours. After making satisfactory observations, it being late, and my men from recent exposure being unfit, I returned. I was well supported to-day by officers and men.
T. W. PARMELE,
Lieutenant Col. RICHARD B. IRWIN,
No. 7. Report of Col. N. A. M. Dudley, Thirtieth Massachusetts Infantry, of reconnaissance to the mouth of False River.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION,
March 19, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report, for the information of the major-general commanding, the result of the reconnaissance made by the troops under my command to-day.
I sent, under the command of Col. C. J. Paine, of the Second Louisiana Volunteers, the One hundred and seventy-fourth New York Volunteers, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Gott; the Second Louisiana