Floyd, and to have brought up from Delhi 1,500 men and some artillery to re-enforce the Thirteenth Louisiana Battalion, with which we had the fight.
The rebels claim to have 10,000 troops at Monroe, brought down from Little Rock to be sent to Alexandria, but say that Bank's army was falling back from Alexandria, and these troops were not sent there. If this is true, these troops may be expected to operate in this direction and toward Milliken's Bend.
The negroes and much property WEST of the bayou are being run off to Texas, though there are plenty of provisions, such as corn and hogs, left. The secesh hereabouts say that if Vicksburg falls the war is at an end in Louisiana. I have had most of the negroes who were unemployed here removed to the commissioners at Goodrich's Landing.
Since writing the above, I have learned, from what I believe to be a reliable source, that no troops have been sent from Monroe toward Bayou Macon; that 3,000, instead of 10,000, came from Little Rock to Monroe; that these troops have been sent to re-enforce Colonel [General] Taylor and Kirby SMITH, on Red River, who were retreating before Banks' army; that General Hebert is at Monroe, in command of only 60 men (conscripts), and that he has had his things packed up for the last three weeks (in two wagons) on the WEST side of the
Washita River, ready to run on the approach of our forces. This information is derived from a New Hampshire Yankee, who has just made his escape from Monroe. He says that the troops are to be withdrawn from this side of the Washita, which I think is altogether probable from the movements we know to be going on WEST of the bayou.
H. T. REID,
Major General J. B. McPHERSON,
Commanding SEVENTEENTH Army Corps.
Number 2. Report of Major William Y. Roberts, First Kansas Infantry. HEADQUARTERS FIRST KANSAS MOUNTED INFANTRY, camp Butler, near Lake Providence, La., May 11, 1863.
SIR: IN obedience to your orders, I proceeded, in command of a detachment of 100 men of the SIXTEENTH Regiment Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, composed of detachments from Company G, Captain Wheeler; Company A, Captain Gallagher; Company I, Captain Stevens, and Company E, Lieutenants Vidal and Monroe, to Old River, for the purpose of co-operating with Captain Zesch, commanding six companies of the First Kansas Volunteer (now mounted) Infantry, sent on an expedition WEST of Bayou Macon.
On reaching Old River, on the evening of the 8th, I found Captain Zesch had fallen back to that post with his command for rations. I at once assumed command of the troops at Old River, consisting of Companies A, b, f, g, h, and I, of the First Kansas, and the above detachment from the SIXTEENTH Wisconsin, and marched the next morning at daylight to a point on Bayou Macon, near Caledonia, where it was reported the rebels were posted with a force of about 800 men.
On reaching the bayou, I found it impossible to cross with mounted