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 of shore. The bottom of the lake at this point is sandy and hard. Whether hard enough or not to bear my light artillery I could not ascertain. There is a levee, which could serve the purpose of an entrenchment, about three-quarters 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-quarters 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 rope. A mile above this ferry is a bridge (the nearest one to the road). The distance from this 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 there 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 rifle pits and to assist in removing the two very serious obstructions in the channel of the Teche or they cannot get within range of the enemy at all. Infantry above on the boats will not accomplish this. If I give from my brigade a force equal to this 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 entrenched position about 6 miles below Centreville.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Vols., Comdg. Brigade.
P. S.-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.
MESILA, ARIZ., February 13, 1863.
BrigadierGeneral JOSEPH R. WEST,
Commanding District of Arizona, Mesilla:
I have the honor to report that, in compliance with your instructions, dated the 3rd of January, I proceeded to Chihuahua, having left here on the 5th and arrived at my destination on the 17th ultimo, and at once presented myself to His Excellency Don Louis Terrazas, Governor of the State, who appointed the 21st for conference.* In the mean time I had met, dined with, and had considerable social intercourse with him.
At the appointed time I opened the subject of my mission to His Excellency, viz, "The prevention of abuses against the Government of the United States, which have been committed by certain rebels who have taken refuge in Mexican territory." In bringing the subject before the Governor I adhered to the language of your letter, which presented the case lucidly. The Governor stated that he had already been informed
*See also Ferguson's letter of same date inclosed in Carleton to Thomas, February 23, 1863.