War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 1042 W. FLA.,S. ALA.,S. MISS.,LA.,TEX.,N. MEX. Chapter XXVII

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being fastened but to one abutment, got broken to pieces against each other.

On account of want of material and the extreme difficulty to place all the rafts in good weather before a change takes place the plan of rafting will have to be abandoned, and three cable chains will be stretched across, with sufficient support to keep the chains near the surface. This will, however, be less serious impediment to the enemy than the rafts would have been if I had been able to get them all in position and fastened to both abutments before the storm came on.

I will not attempt to throw the blame on men who, badly seconded me. It is a failure, and as in times like the present men's merit is judged by their success, I therefore deem it proper to tender you most respectfully my resignation as chief of your district.

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

V. SULAKOWSKI,

Chief Engineer.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI,

Alexandria, La., April 15, 1863.

Lieutenant General J. C. PEMBERTON,

Jackson, Miss.:

GENERAL: The enemy have crossed Berwick Bay, and a column of about 15,000 men is operating along Bayou Teche. General Taylor has been driven back by overwhelming numbers, and indications are that the enemy intend moving upon Opelousas and Alexandria. This, taken in connection with the information we have that Baton Rouge has been evacuated, renders it probable that Banks has changed his plan of campaign, and contemplated the conquest of Western Louisiana and the cutting off of supplies to Mississippi by the occupation of Red River.

Taylor has only about 5,000 men in the District of Louisiana to meet this movement. Cannot you re-enforce him with a portion of the troops at Port Hudson, which by the change of plan of General Banks ought to be disposable? If not, can you not operate toward New Orleans with that force, and by threatening the city bring back the enemy from Berwick Bay and the Teche country.

Unless we are re-enforced or some counter-movement is made on the other side of the river the enemy must succeed in their occupation of West Louisiana, and thus effectually close up the only channel by which supplies can be passed east of the Mississippi.

I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. KIRBY SMITH,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI,

Alexandria, La., April 15, 1863.

Lieutenant General T. H. HOLMES,

Commanding, &c., Little Rock, Ark.:

GENERAL: I inclose a copy of a letter,* from which you will see that the plans of the enemy are being developed. His movements along the Teche show an evident intention to occupy that portion of the State and perhaps to advance toward the northwestern part.

I wish you to hasten the movements of Walker's division to Monroe,

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*Not found. Perhaps it was copy of that ot Pemberton of same date, p. 1042.

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