War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0705 Chapter XXVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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DONALDSONVILLE, April 19, 1863.

Captain WICKHAH HOFFMAN,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

Lieutenant C. H. Witham, Twenty-eighth Maine Volunteers, who was sent across from Plaquemine with 7 men by the provost-marshal, was pursued by a squall of rebel cavalry, and as he would not surrender, was shot and robbed and left for dead on the bank of the river in sight of Plaquemine. Recovering, he reported that 17 of my men were taken; that he saw only 80 or 100 of the enemy uniformed in gray, mounted, and armed. My men were extended along the telegraph wire to protect it. It is now unprotected from this place to Baton Rouge. Two steamboats, the Sallie Robinson and Union, which went up river with freight for Manchac Landing, I have ordered not to land on the east side at all. Is this right? Lieutenant Witham reports a large amount of pork and other stores taken at Manchac Pass, &c.

E. W. WOODMAN,

Colonel, Commanding.

HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,

Opelousas, April 21, 1863.

Major General C. C. AUGUR,

Commanding First Division, Baton Rouge:

GENERAL: I am directed by the commanding general to inform you of the arrival here of Lieutenant Tenney and Skinner, of Colonel Dudley's staff, with important dispatches from General Grant.

The commanding general desires to acknowledge the valuable service rendered by these officers and by Lieutenant Dean and the officers of the Signal Corps, Captain Roe and Lieutenants Herbert and Abbott, in opening communication with the forces above Port Hudson.

We occupy Opelousas and hold Washington by a strong advance post.

The command rests to-day. The enemy took the road to Alexandria. In a proclamation issued on the 19th Brigadier-General Pratt, then command here, says the brave men of Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri will soon be with them, apparently showing that the expects no re-enforcements from Port Hudson. The Opelousas Courirer of the 18th speaks of the recent engagements as "sad events," and the Alexandria papers of the same date mention them as serious reverses and disasters. They put their loss at 50 killed and 200 wounded.

The commanding general desires you to keep him constantly informed of the state of affairs in your vicinity.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

[RICH'D B. IRWIN,]

Assistant Adjutant-General.

GENERAL ORDERS,

HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF,19TH A. C., No. 29.

Opelousas, April 21, 1863.

The exigencies of the service and the safety of the troops imperatively demand that the disposable force of the corps shall march in column, except where necessary detachments upon special duty are ordered by superior officers. The desertion of the column upon the

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