HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Morganza, La., September 20, 1863.
Brigadier General CHARLES P. STONE,
Chief of Staff, New Orleans:
GENERAL: Matters in this section have not changed much in the past five days. General Green still holds his position at Morgan's Ferry, on the west side of the Atchafalaya, and has been re-enforced by the detachments from the direction of Opelousas, and a regiment from above Simsport on Red River. He has between 3,800 and 4,000 men for duty. I have been making every effort to draw the whole or a portion of his force to this side of the river, but without avail. Their location is such as to make it a difficult matter to cross the river in front of them; still, I think it cold be done.
All detachments have been withdrawn from the east side of the Atchafalaya, excepting a small picket at mouth of Red River.
We keep up a continual skirmishing with them at the ferry, and yesterday, in an attempt to drive a party of my men from their position, the rebs were pretty severely handled.
Price has evacuated Little Rock, and the rumor among the secesh here is that his force is on its way to Alexandria.
Do you desire me to take more active steps against this force of Green's, or merely to carry out your last order and hold them where they are? Please advise me by telegraph. I brought the command away with only the clothing they had on, and they need a change badly. Will your plans justify my sending to Carrollton for it?
I send down to-day some prisoners, and will send to-morrow, to the chief commissary, 200 head of fine cattle.
In connection with Captain [James P.] Foster, of the navy, I have arranged a plan to capture the band of marauders that make their headquarters at Bayou Sara.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. J. HERRON,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, September 21, 1863.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief, U. S. Army, Washington, D. c.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that the Nineteenth Army Corps crossed Berwick Bay on Saturday, and will have advanced as far as Franklin to-morrow.
The Thirteenth Army Corps, under General Franklin, is at Brashear, awaiting transportation. Owing to the low stage of water, we have been able to get but two steamers around to Brashear, and the crossing has been very slow in consequence of this deficiency. It adds another proof of the absolute necessity of light-draught boats for the service of the Government in the waters of this department.
Four or five boats, sent around to assist the troops in crossing, are aground on their way out.
Major-General Herron, with one division of the Thirteenth Army Corps, is between the Atchafalaya and Morganza, holding in check General Green, with about 3,000 of the rebel force now on the west bank of the Atchafalaya.
Reports reach us this evening that Price has evacuated Little Rock,