there are several Government plantations in this vicinity stocked with negroes, from 100 to 250 each, that are without overseers, destitute of subsistence, and doing no work. These negroes, in some instances having procured mules and horses, ride from eigne plantation to another, threaten the lives of the few white inhabitants that remain, and commit various depredations, in some instances of a serious character.
There is a very large amount of ammunition here, for both artillery and small-arms, awaiting the orders of the ordnance officer, and for which there is no proper place of storage.
N. A. M. DUDLEY,
Colonel, and Acting Brigadier-General, Commanding U. S. Forces.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,
New Orleans, August 4, 1863.
Commodore H. H. BELL,
U. S. Navy, Commanding, &c.:
COMMODORE: I have the honor to inform you that I hear through many sources that the enemy at Mobile intend making a sudden and vigorous attack on Ship Island. I am satisfied that there is good ground to apprehend such a movement, and will at once send two additional regiments of infantry there.
I respectfully request that you will lend us your aid in that quarter as may be in your power, and would suggest sending a light-draught iron-clad into the lake, where it will be held in readiness to act very promptly.
Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
U. S. STEAM-SLOOP PENSACOLA,
Off New Orleans, August 4, 1863.
Major General N. P. BANKS,
U. S. Army:
GENERAL: I have the honor (at 3 p. m.) to receive your letter of this date, informing me of the probability of an immediate attack being made on Ship Island by the enemy from Mobile.
I have no iron-clad of light-draught at my disposal, but will immediately dispatch one or more efficient vessels to act in the sound. In the course of two or three days I expect to have two small vessels capable of acting in the lake.
We shall meet them in the sound, and defeat them if they come.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
H. H. BELL,
Commodore, Commanding West Gulf Blockading Squadron, pro tempore.
BRASHEAR CITY, LA.,
August 4, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel RICHARD B. IRWIN,
SIR: I have information, which I deem reliable, that the enemy's force this side of New Iberia are about concentrating at Camp Bisland.