War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0709 Chapter XXVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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be his present business and what is supposed to be his purpose. All these are points that should be covered by intelligence gained through one who has seen the force, at least of Skillman, with his own eyes.

I beg you will do me the favor to ask the Governor of Chihuahua if he cannot prohibit the exportation of any more provisions from his State to Texas or the Texans. I shall esteem it a friendly act, and as such it will be appreciated by my Government. I understand that this was done by the Governor of Nuevo Leon.

Send me letters of pressing importance by special couriers. these should be hired as low as would be a fair and just compensation. They will be paid on the delivery of the letters to the commander at Franklin, Tex.

I leave for Santa Fe to-morrow. Your letters to me can remain unsealed in an envelope directed to Brigadier-General West, Hart's Mill, Tex., or, in his absence, to the commanding officer Franklin, Tex.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.


Near Iberia, La., April 24, 1863.

Lieutenant Col. RICHARD B. IRWIN,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: I have the honor to report that I left the front on the morning of the 19th instant, pursuant to instructions from headquarters, collecting horses, mules, cattle, &c. Have collected a large number, but most of the cattle are light and thin in flesh. There will be a few hundred that will do for beef. It is impossible to separate the best from the others, having been herded together and wild. We are obliged to drive all together, good, bad, and indifferent. We shall have several hundred horses and mules fit for Government service.

The One hundred and fifty-ninth New York Regiment is in advance. The large amount of stock, numbering thousands, and the open condition of the road and country make our progress necessarily slow.

I would also call your attention to the fact that there is a large amount of cotton in the parish of Saint Martin, amounting to thousands of bales, which I have seen and heard of being drawn back from the thoroughfares to prevent its being burned or falling into our hands. If transportation could be furnished or harness procured the mules and carts in the country would soon convey a large amount to the several depots along the line. The prestige and effect at home and abroad you fully understand.

The inhabitants are under great excitement from fear of insurrections by the negroes or violence from straggling soldiers. I left at the village of Saint Martinsville an order prohibiting all United States soldiers entering the premises or taking the property of citizens unless in obedience to orders. The provost-marshal, Captain Long, has had it printed and circulated, and is vigilant in protecting the lawful rights of citizens. I have promulgated the policy of General Banks, as I understand it to be, to protect the citizens in all their citizenship and property, recommending to the negroes to stay upon their places unless directed otherwise by the department, those claiming protection under the Government to be protected and their property preserved for adjudication.