view, as I believe you could through him produce a large and lasting impression on the people of this State and on those adjacent.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
[CHAS. P. STONE,]
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,
New Orleans, July 23, 1863.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Commander-in-Chief, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: Since my last dispatch, our troops have taken possession again of Brashear City. There is now no enemy between the river and Berwick Bay. It is a mistake to suppose that we have lost the country this side of the Red River, as represented in the public prints. We do not occupy it, it is true, but, with the repossession of the Mississippi, the Atchafalaya, and Berwick Bay, we have control to if precisely the same as if our troops were there. None of the advantages gained by our campaign have been lost to the Government. It is a misfortune that we could not have captured the force of the enemy that invaded the La Fourche country, but the limited force of the navy and the army, and the complete exhaustion of both, made it impossible to prevent their escape. They have, however, done no harm, except the devastation of a few plantations and the capture of some convalescents who remainder at Brashear, chiefly by their own fault, and without the knowledge of the military authorities. It was not intended that any force should remain at Brashear, and it was ordered that all supplies should be remove from there as speedily as possible when we left the line of the Teche. Disobedience of orders occasioned the slight loss we suffered at Brashear.
Preparations are making for the immediate return of the nine-months' men. Of these there are twenty-two regiments in number. A portion will go by the river and a part by sea. It is represented by the quartermaster's department that the expenses will be about the same on each line. The departure of these regiments will reduce my effective force to about 12,000 men. I trust that the defeat of Lee's army may enable the Government to strengthen my force without delay. There is still strength at Mobile and in Texas, which will constantly threaten Louisiana, and which ought to be destroyed delay. The possession of Mobile and the occupation of Texas would quiet the whole Southwest, and every effort ought to be made to accomplish this. Its importance can hardly be overestimated. A large number of wounded and sick officers and privates will be sent north upon furlough, upon the recommendation of the medical director, a change of climate being essential to their recovery.
The general condition of the army is good. No contagious diseases exist, and the chief cause of sickness is exhaustion and climatic affections. The city of New Orleans was never heartier than this season, and never more cleanly or quiet. My force are stationed on the river at Donaldsville, Baton Rouge, and Port Hudson. As soon as they can be reorganized, I shall place them in healthy locations for the summer. Brashear will be held by a small force, and possibly some detachments may patrol the river above Port Hudson.
It is reported to us from Alexandria that the rebel troops there, expecting a movement from Port Hudson, and learning that the gunboats