War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0701 Chapter XXXVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULFS, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,

New Orleans, August 28, 1863.

Major-General GRANT,

Commanding Department of the Tennessee:

GENERAL: Your dispatch of the 14th instant I received to-day. The absence of General Ord has not delayed the reorganization of the Thirteenth Corps. General Washburn has been most assiduous in his attention to the troops, and they are daily improving. I reviewed General Herron's General Lee's, General

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's divisions last week, and to-morrow a review of the corps is ordered. Their appearance is in the highest degree gratifying.

I regret that you are unable to strengthen our cavalry, but appreciate the heavy demands made upon this arm of the service. The deficiency of cavalry is the great misfortune of our army organization. I hope to correct it here, but want it much as a means of increasing this force.

A deserter from Mobile came in to-day. He reports the greatest confusion there, and much conflict among the reports. They are ill-fed and greatly discontented. The naval officers report the capture of one or two prizes, loaded with beef and pork, from which they conclude there is a great scarcity of provisions than has ben reported. General Johnston is reported above Mobile, with his force greatly weakened by desertion.

The enemy, under Taylor, in Western Louisiana, is reported in movement toward the Mississippi, abut 8,000 strong. They are likely to debouch between Plaquemine and Morganza, possibly to attack our forces in the La Fourche District.

To defend this department we need light-draught gunboats. It is impossible for us to intercept the enemy and cut off his retreat excepting by naval occupation of Berwick Bay and the Atchafalaya. This is the best method of protecting the river. I beg you to urge upon Admiral Porter the necessity of assisting us in this, if it be only temporarily.

The first movement in the expedition before referred to will probably take place by Wednesday.

I am, very truly, yours,

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,

New Orleans, August 28, 1863.

Colonel E. G. BECKWITH,

Commanding Defenses, New Orleans:

COLONEL: The major-general commanding deems it advisable to send immediately to Thibodeauxville an additional bridge. He suggests Birge's brigade, of the Fourth Division, and wishes that the movement be made with all possible dispatch.

Well authenticated reports show that the enemy have largely strengthened their forces in the direction of Berwick Bay, and have crossed some troops through Grand Lake.

Very respectfully, &c.,

CHAS. P. STONE,

Brigadier-General, Chief of Staff.