and is moving toward Alexandria. If this prove to be true, it will show that they intend to concentrate their forces west of the Mississippi, in Texas.
It is greatly to be regretted that we failed to make a landing at Sabine City, which would have placed our forces in the very center of the circle upon which they operate, in such time and in such strength as to make their concentration impossible.
We shall endeavor, without loss of time, to compensate for this failure by the land movement. The troops are in good condition, improving in health and spirit.
I hope that orders may be given to Admiral Porter to furnish us some light-draught boats, now in the upper river. By the occupation of the Teche country, and the dispersion of the enemy in that quarter, we cover completely the west bank of the Mississippi, both from the rebel forces and the assaults of guerrillas.
The only danger to New Orleans must come from Johnston's army on the east. Two or three light-draught gunboats should be placed in Lake Pontchartrain, subject to the orders of the military commandant of this department. This is indispensable to protect the city from invasion from that quarter, and also to check contraband trading operations with the enemy.
I join my command as soon as the crossing of the forces can be effected.
I am glad to report every day an improvement in the condition of affairs in New Orleans. Business is progressing; new establishments are opening daily for trade, and every manifestation of a better feeling on the part of all classes of society, and all phases of opinion, is shown. We have witnessed this evening an exhibition which has not been seen before-an assemblage of some thousands of persons, men, women, and children, representing all classes of citizens, in one of the public squares of the city, with every manifestation of good feeling and of satisfaction.
I have the honor to be, with considerations of high respect, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
Vicksburg, Miss., September 21, 1863.
Major General N. P. BANKS,
Commanding Department of the Gulf, New Orleans, La.,
GENERAL: Captain Robert T. Dunham, of your staff, has arrived, and has shown me his instructions. I regret to say that I am still confined on my back as much as when I left New Orleans, but hope for a permanent cure in the course of time.
The cavalry which I ordered from West Tennessee to this place before my departure for New Orleans has not yet arrived. It should have been here by the 3rd of this month at the latest. Finding that it was not arriving as expected, my adjutant-general reiterated the order for this cavalry to be sent at once. I am now daily expecting int. Until it does arrive, it will be totally impracticable for me to spare from my command any cavalry. There is to my front a rebel cavalry force, under General Stephen D. Lee. to watch and counteract their movements, I have a cavalry force at present of scarcely 1,200 effective men. When my cavalry does arrive, I will endeavor to clean out the country east of