War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0386 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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Numbers 20. Reports of Major General Richard Taylor, C. S. Army, commanding District of Western Louisiana.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WESTERN LOUISIANA,

Alexandria, October 6, 1863.

COLONEL: By direction of Major- General Taylor, I have the honor to inclose the accompanying copy of a letter from General Mouton,* and the pass given by Major- General Franklin, from which you will perceive the condition of affairs below. I also quote the following from General Taylor's letter:

There is no doubt that the enemy is advancing in very large force. Whether it is his intention to march to the Red River Valley before going to Texas has not yet been developed, but to- day or to- morrow will decide what he means.

You know he can strike out by the road from Vermillionville, or from New Iberia, via Abbeville, to Niblett's Bluff. I shall gradually and quietly remove surplus stores from this point. T here are some 470 or 480 Federal prisoners, captured by General Green, who will be started for Shreveport to- morrow morning.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. SURGET,

Assistant Adjutant- General.

Colonel S. S. ANDERSON,

Assistant Adjutant- General.

[INDORSEMENT.]

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE TRANS- MISSISSIPPI,

Shreveport, La., October 9, 1863.

Respectfully forwarded to Major- General Magruder for his information.

By order of Lieutenant General E. Kirby Smith:

S. S. ANDERSON,

Assistant Adjutant-n General.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WESTERN LOUISIANA,

Opelousas, October 11, 1863-2 a. m.

GENERAL: I have just returned from the front near Vermillionville. We had some brisk skirmishing at the Bayou Vermillion to- day, inflicting some loss to the enemy. The bayou being low and fordable in many places, the enemy succeeded in forcing a passage by bringing up heavy masses at different fords. The enemy moves with the greatest caution. Nothing can induce his cavalry to separate 500 yards from his infantry supports. Franklin, with his corps (the Nineteenth) is at Vermillionville, and a large part of the Thirteenth Corps is in close proximity. I think a fair estimate of Franklin's strength is 10,000. The Thirteenth Corps is believed to be larger. The priest from Abbeville to-day reports that he met on the 10th, on the road from New Iberia to Abbeville, a force of some 2,00 mounted men, escorting a pontoon train.

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*See Report Numbers 21, p. 393.

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