MARCH 29, 1863.
Respectfully submitted to the President for information.
J. A. SEDDON,
SECRETARY OF WAR:
This letter requires attention. It is an avowal of an infamous crime and the assertion of what should not be true in relation to troops in Texas, & c.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WESTERN LOUISIANA,
New Iberia, La., December 30, 1862.
General S. COOPER, A. and I. G. C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of extract of Special Orders, No. 289, paragraph IV, relative to Colonel York and other officers of the Fourteenth Louisiana Regiment, who are directed "to report (to me) for duty as drill officers," & c., of such conscripts as may be in camp and assigned to the two brigades of Louisiana infantry now in the State of Virginia.
On my arrival in the State of Louisiana I found but one camp of instruction established, viz, at Monroe, and but few conscripts enrolled and reported at that camp. I at once established another, which I located at Camp Pratt, in the southern portion of the State, and having no other competent field officer at that time subject to my orders, assigned Lieutenant-Colonel Burke, of the Second Louisiana Regiment, to the command of the last-mentioned camp. In North Louisiana but few conscripts were had, and of those few upward of 100 were sent by me to Vicksburg, where they were greatly needed in the Louisiana regiments on duty at that important point. In the section of the State (Northern Louisiana) from which the conscripts were required to report at Monroe but few persons were liable to the operation of the conscription act, nearly the whole population between eighteen and thirty-five having volunteered in the service prior to the passage of the act. In Southern Louisiana, notwithstanding the occupation of a considerable portion of the State by the enemy, about 3,000 persons were enrolled and reported to Camp Pratt as conscripts. Of this number nearly 2,000 have been assigned to the regiments ordered to my command in this district to fill their ranks, and the remainder sent to the Louisiana troops serving at and near Port Hudson, and formed into companies for service in this district, as authorized by the Department. The number of conscripts recently brought to the camps is small, and these have to be hunted down by detachments from the small command which I have at my disposal and brought in tied and sometimes ironed. Having retained Lieutenant-Colonel Burke some four months, I have recently relieved him from duty at Camp Pratt and he has returned to his regiment in Virginia. Colonel Waggaman, of Tenth Louisiana Regiment, who came here for recruits for the Louisiana regiments in Virginia, has been assigned by men to command of Camp Pratt. This officer speaks both French and English, and the knowledge and use of both languages is important at that post. As I have before stated to the Department, I think we can expect but small additions to our forces from the conscription act passed at the last session of Congress. The exemption law renders the act almost inoperative so far as this State is concerned. I shall retain Colonel Waggaman for a short time until I can ascertain what