War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0388 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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present I cannot send it to Texas, but will do so at the earliest moment when the movement can be effected.*

I remain, general very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. TAYLOR,

Major- General, Commanding.

Major General J. B. MAGRUDER,

Commanding District of Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WESTERN LOUISIANA,

Washington, October 20, 1863.

GENERAL: Yesterday evening the enemy threw forward a heavy force of all arms, and drove in our advance pickets. General Green promptly re- enforced, and a very brisk skirmish ensued. I reached the front at dusk, and found that the enemy had been driven back, leaving some dead on the field. We lost 3 killed and some wounded; the exact number I have not yet had a report of. Green contested the ground with his usual obstinacy, and prevented the enemy from gaining a knowledge of his position, which seems to have been the object of his advance. All quiet so far this morning (8 a. m.). I returned from the extreme front after midnight, the enemy having retired to his previous encampment. A scouting party returned on yesterday from between New Iberia and movement in that direction; also that Banks had reached New Iberia, and that the enemy's whole army was in my immediate front. They report, in addition, that scouts of General Magruder were met by them at Mermenton Crossing.

I feel anxious about the Red River obstructions. Major [H. T.] Douglas has not as yet communicated with me. The uncertain purposes of the enemy necessarily prevent any work for the time as low as the Rapids. I think every preparation should by made to obstruct the river above.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. TAYLOR,

Major- General.

Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS,

Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WESTERN LOUISIANA,

Washington, October 21, 1863-9 a. m.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that the dispositions of the enemy indicate an advance in force to- day. A column is moving up also on the Teche road, to strike the Courtableau below Washington, and turn the left of my position in front of Opelousas. This, with the largely superior force of the enemy, will compel me to move to the north of Washington. Fifty pieces of artillery, including seven 20 and 30 pounder Parrotts, 1,500 cavalry, and 20,000 infantry, have passed New Iberia in this direction. Five hundred army wagons, prepared with water- tanks, large stores of marching rations, accompany them. General Ord has taken command of the Thirteenth Corps, and Banks is now present with the troops. Officers and men all say Texas is the objective point

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*See Magruder to Taylor, October 18, Part II, p.335.

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