lieve it, as it does not come as direct as my previous information, and there have been no late arrivals reported. I have information from a gentleman from New Orleans that the enemy have nineteen war vessels of different kinds at New Orleans, two at Donaldsonville, one at Plaquemine, and the Essex and two steam sloops of war at Baton Rouge. It is reliably reported that there are not more than 2,000 men left in New Orleans and that Major-General Banks is sick; also that 800 men have been sent from Baton Rouge to Plaquemine, and that there are one regiment of infantry and one company of cavalry at West Baton Rouge. I have had no direct information lately from the city. General Sibley communicated with me yesterday from Rosedale. He asks me for re-enforcements of infantry and cavalry. I shall be obliged to keep my cavalry on the west side of the river.
I have concluded to establish a general hospital at Woodville, if it meets the general's approbation, on account of the difficulty of transportation to Magnolia. No wagons can be had in the country. I can have river transportation to Bayou Sara and thence by a good railroad to Woodville.
The work at this post is progressing well. Nothing else to report.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Jackson, Miss., January 12, 1863.
General J. E. JOHNSTON,
Commanding, & c., Jackson, Miss.:
GENERAL: Your order to inspect the troops and defenses at Port Hudson, La., under the immediate command of Major-General Gardner, having been complied with, I have the honor to submit the following report:
To Lieutenant-Colonel Harvie, assistant inspector general, was assigned the special duty of verifying the muster rolls, noting deficiencies, general conduct, & c., of the troops; herewith is inclosed his report in full,* the most prominent feature of which, namely, lack of discipline and instruction among the troops, with the very general inefficiency of the officers of the command, I would particularly direct your attention.
The several batteries upon the bold river front, extending over a mile, are very formidable, both from their commanding position and number and character of the guns in position, except perhaps the two 32-pounders under the bluff called the Water Battery. The location of the seventeen guns is good throughout, but I consider the defenses of the river defective from the fact that all the magazines are placed so immediately upon the bank and built so high above it as to render probable the destruction of each and all of them by the shells of the enemy. This defect has presented itself to General Gardner so that if time be allowed it will be remedied.
Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, formerly an officer of the U. S. navy, afterward a colonel commanding a regiment of Louisiana Volunteers in the Army of the West, has been charged with the immediate command of all the heavy batteries by order of General Gardner. The selection of
* Not found.