of two battalion; of the full confirmation of the impracticability of operating upon the Atchafalaya from the Plaquemine, and that the enemy was massing his forces against General Weitzel to meet his demonstration upon the Teche. Weitzel had now concentrated his brigade (five regiments of infantry), with three light batteries of the First Division, at Brashear City.
Emory's command returned to Carrollton to await the transportation necessary to carry out the movement upon Atchafalaya from Berwick's Bay. but, in the meanwhile, the capture of the Queen of the West, and the more recently reported capture of the De Soto, has led Admiral Farragut to the conclusion that some vigorous movement upon his part was necessary to co-operate with the gunboats above, in endeavoring to cut off the enemy's communication with the Red River country, and to destroy his gunboats in those waters. Such co-operation we could only render with efficiency, and a probability of success, by concentrating our whole available force for the movement. Allowing General Witzel's movement to retain its original character of a demonstration, the necessary dispositions have been taken and are now in process of execution to effect this concentration.
During the course of to-morrow the artillery of Emory's division and Mack's Eighteenth New York Battery, having an armament of six 20-pounder Parrotts, will have arrived at Baton Rouge, or will be on the way there. The land transportation will follow it, and the infantry of Emory's division will move last.
That our delay has not been idly or unnecessarily employed is attested by the complete organization of the entire command,the equipment and instruction of the artillery, the organization of our siege-train, the increase of the cavalry, the collection of our land and water transportation, even yet sadly deficient, and the employment of the troops in expeditions and minor affair to accustom them to operations and encountering the enemy.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
NEW ORLEANS, LA., February 25, 1863.
Brigadier General JAMES BOWEN:
GENERAL: At your request, I hand you what information I have received from time to time in conversing with Benjamin Doublieux, esq., late under my charge. In speaking of the United States forces at Indian Village and on board transports at Plaquemine, Mr. Doublieux remarked that their object was well known to the Confederates, which was to from a junction with General Weitzel and thus capture a small Confederate force at that time stationed in Grosse Tete; that the troops under command of General Emory would never be able to get through Bayou Plaquemine, on account of drift and high water; that the general was undoubtedly acting on information received some six or seven weeks ago, before the drift had formed and the water had risen to its present height, at which time their object might have been accomplished; also that the forces at and about Plaquemine would undoubtedly go,