HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
Mrs. Olivia's, October 8, 1863.
Beyond New Iberia.
GENERAL: The major-general commanding and staff arrived at 5 p. m. The general intends to join you to-morrow. Please report to-day's results. Ord's corps moves forward to-morrow.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
[CHAS. P. STONE,]
Brigadier-General, and Chief of Staff.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, Numbers 252.
In the Field, October 8, 1863.
I. Brigadier-General Asboth, U. S. Volunteers, is assigned to the command of the troops in West Florida, headquarters Pensacola, and will proceed without delay to assume his command.
II. Brigadier-General Philip St. George Cooke, U. S. Army, having report for duty in this department, is assigned to the command of the troops at Baton Rouge, La., to which post he will proceed without delay, and enter upon he discharge of his duties. Brigadier-General Cooke will consider himself responsible for the good order of the district of country in the vicinity of Baton Rouge, and from that point to the vicinity of Donaldsonville.
III. The troops within the district embraced between the following limits, viz: The Bayou La Fourche from its mouth to Thibodeauxville; thence north to the Mississippi River; thence along the west bank of the Mississippi River to Donaldsonville and its immediate vicinity; thence west to Grand River; thence down the Grand River, Grand Lake, and the Atchafalaya River to the Gulf of Mexico, and thence to the mouth of the La Fourche, will comprise a separate command, under Brigadier General Henry W. Birge, U. S. Volunteers.*
* * * * *
By command of Major-General Banks:
G. NORMAN LIEBER,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
NEW IBERIA, LA.,
October 9, 1863-10 a. m.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.:
My advance, under Major General Franklin, is near Vermillion Bayou to-day. It is believed that there are but 2,000 or 3,000 of the enemy on the other side. If this be so, it is probable they are moving in the direction of the Sabine, for the purpose of concentrating their forces there. I mourn our failure to get possession of Sabine Pass, which enables them to do this. If it prove true, I shall disperse them by a counter-movement, which has been in preparation for ten days. As soon as we
*This separate command was extended by Special Orders, Numbers 269, of October 28, to embrace "all troops stationed on the New Orleans, Opelousas and Great Western Railroad, as far as the Railroad des Allemands."