Lieutenant-Colonel Corliss, of the Rhode Island Cavalry, accompanied by Lieutenant-Colonel Abert, which was pushed out on the road through Chicotville to the Bayou Cocordie, a distance of upward of 50 miles. The enemy had no force on that road except a small picket, the whole of which was captured. The enemy has a considerable force of cavalry on the Bayou Boeuff road, but he has no force to offer any strong resistance to our advance to Alexandria. The collection of cotton has been very successful, about 3,500 bales having already been collected. Two more pieces of artillery have been raised from the wreck of a rebel boat near Leonville, making twenty-two guns in all captured from the enemy. About 600 sabers were also recovered. One soldier has been shot to death for plundering and pillaging, and some others are being tried for the same offense, who will doubtless have to suffer so strong, and the disregard of reiterated orders forbidding it such, that severe measures were indispensable.
I am, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
[GEO. L. ANDREWS.]
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Chief of Staff.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Opelousas, May 4, 1863.
GENERAL: Since the date of my last dispatch I have visited New Orleans for a couple of days. General Ullman was then at Baton Rouge, with his officers. Failing to meet him at New Orleans, and unable to remain longer, I addressed a letter to him on the 29th of April, inviting him to meet me at Opelousas. I have not yet heard from him, and fear, as I am likely to advance immediately in the direction of Alexandria, that I may not be able to confer with him for some days. But I believe that I have the men at hand, part of them already partially organized, for his entire brigade. I shall turn them over to him at once. My belief is that Brashear City, on Berwick Bay, is in all respects the best position for the organization of his troops. There is no material at Baton Rouge, and New Orleans is in many respects objectionable. He can organize his regiments in one week after establishing his headquarters from the men I have collected. I shall authorize him, in accordance with the instructions of the Secretary of War, to recruit ad libitum from the districts about New Orleans.
Inclosed is a copy of an order upon the subject of colored troops, to which reference was made in my last dispatch, embodying the ideas then referred to.
I have the honor to be, with much respect, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, 19TH A. C., No. 40.
Opelousas, May 1, 1863.
The major-general commanding the department proposes the organization of a corps d'armee of colored troops, to be designated as the