War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0340 W. FLA.,S. ALA.,S. MISS.,LA.,TEX.,N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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drove them away. I leave at once for Barre's Landing, and shall encamp near there to-night with the infantry. Part of the cavalry will go there to-night.

Respectfully,

W. B. FRANKLIN,

Major-General, Commanding Nineteenth Army Corps.

Brigadier General CHARLES P. STONE,

Chief of Staff, New Orleans.

HEADQUARTERS TROOPS IN THE FIELD,

Bayou Barricroquant, October 23, 1863-12 m.

GENERAL: I have already announced to the commanding general my arrival at this place. My troops hold Opelousas and Barre's Landing.

On account of a violent storm now raging, movements must be delayed some time, and I shall act according to my best judgment. I cannot say in this dispatch what I intend to do. Shall be very glad to get definite instructions. Forage is very scarce here and higher up. There seems to be no chance of the boat's arrival. The trains could not possibly move to-day.

Respectfully,

W. B. FRANKLIN,

Major-General, Commanding Troops in the Field.

Brigadier General CHARLES P. STONE,

Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS TROOPS IN THE FIELD,

October 24, 1863-5 p. m.

GENERAL: I have received a dispatch from you, directing that two good regiments, now in the Teche Basin, shall report without delay to the Defenses of New Orleans. I have, therefore, ordered General Washburn to send two of his regiments back for that purpose. I do not consider that I have any control over the forces at New Iberia or at Franklin. They do not report to General Washburn and do not to General Ord.

This morning I sent out a reconnaissance, consisting of the whole cavalry command. It has gone 9 miles beyond Washington, and has met and dispersed a small body of the enemy. It is the opinion of General Lee, who is in command, that the whole force is retreating as fast as it can march toward Alexandria. It consisted of cavalry and infantry. They retreated northward on both sides of the bayou. It is useless, therefore, to march this large force any farther with any expectation of getting a fight from the enemy. There is absolutely nothing within reach. General Washburn's force, with the exception of what he left at Vermillion, in obedience to orders received from department headquarters, and that left on the Teche, New Iberia, and Franklin, is now here; also the train, with fifteen days' supplies.

We hold Barre's Landing, the line from there to Opelousas. The train is 2 miles in rear of Opelousas, and, by sending back a strong force with each train, I presume that we may be fed here. But there is very little forage in the country, and a move somewhere must soon be made. The forage question is important, and I think that we must get near to New Iberia or the Mississippi River.