War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 1038 W. FLA.,S. ALA.,S. MISS.,LA.,TEX.,N. MEX. Chapter XXVII

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transportation. It is impossible to move a brigade with all its baggage with the present means, and each movement of troops has materially diminished the transportation.

More heavy artillery would be of important service if it could be spared. It would be very easy for the enemy to bring a heavier armament against this place than on the 14th of March.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.


Camp Wheat, April 7, 1863.

Major General FRANK. GARDNER,

Comdg. Third District Mississippi and East Louisiana:

GENERAL: Immediately on receiving your order I transferred my command as rapidly as possible and reported to Lieutenant-Colonel Miller.

After remaining there two days Colonel miller dismissed them, and told me that I would do him most service by guarding the Amite River. The little skirmish I had with the enemy at Sevich's Ferry, of which I advised you, was of great service to the protection of Ponchatoula. The forces that turned back were intended of Ponchatoula.

When I last wrote I did not suppose I had injured the enemy. I have since learned that they had 24 killed and wounded.

The line that I had established on the Amite River was well adapted for defense and for inroads on the enemy, and I regret that I have not a force sufficient to maintain it, and indeed to make it much more efficient. If it was compatible with your views, if you could consolidate with my battalion three more companies I could assume a line of the west side of the Amite River about 4 miles from the river. A line can there be established resting upon the river swamp and directly connecting with the three ferries. Since Rhodes' company has been detached (and it was a most happy riddance) I have but the three companies of my battalion, and from these three is a detail of 15 men at Osyka and 15 men at Camp Moore, thus leaving my force too small to successfully hold the country I have referred to. The enemy have over 300 cavalry that pass through that county. To resist this force it will require some 250 men; 75 men to hold the different ferries and the rest to fight wherever the enemy can be found. Three more companies added to mine would give such a force. One great advantage would be confining the enemy at Baton Rouge, thus leaving full half the country on the west side of the Amite River; a section from which forage can be drawn. In it there is a large quantity of corn which would be made available for our forces. This force would also enable me to completely cut off all communications from Baton Rouge to New Orleans by land. At this time I believe there are a number of unattached companies. Captain Bryan (formerly Stuart) and Captain Terrell have both in personal interviews expressed a wish to belong to my command. In a former letter I asked for Captain Daigre's company, not that I knew Captain Daigre, for I do not know him or a member of his company, but they are acquainted with the country below Baton Rouge, and have a local knowledge that would be most valuable. These three companies with my battalion would give an effective