the number of rations from 143,000 to 72,250. The coming winter will, I fear, be one of terrible suffering here. The people are becoming poorer every hour, and some supplies, as coal and wood, are insufficient even for the wants of the Government, to say nothing of the people. Hitherto the expenses have been paid out of rents, contributions levied upon rebel property, &c. This property is now turned over to the Treasury officers. I do not complain of this. The administration of these charities, and providing for the increase, have been a labor of far greater intensity and suffering than the creation of an army and the conduct of campaigns. My inquiry is, ought not these charities to go with the only property out of which they can be properly paid? Ought the expense of supporting from 6,000 to 10,000 families, as will be this winter, be considered as part of my military expenses, and charged to war appropriations? If it be so, I request that orders may be given without delay to that effect, and means provided therefor. The calls upon us are very urgent, increasing in number, and coming from families hitherto beyond want.
A part of the anticipated increase in the number of families arises from the number that are evicted in the process of reducing the tenements to the possession of the Government.
I have the honor to be, &c.,
N. P. BANKS,
October 15, 1863.
Major General N. P. BANKS,
Commanding Department of the Gulf, New Orleans:
GENERAL: Captain Franklin, of General Franklin's staff, has just arrived from the front, and reports that the enemy drove in our pickets last night, and that heavy skirmishing was going on all along our lines when he left (at 8 a. m.). General Burbridge's division has just passed these headquarters to join General Franklin; also the One hundred and eighteenth Illinois Mounted Infantry has been sent forward. The telegraph wires were cut last night between here and New Iberia, but the communication is again resumed this morning.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
[J. SCHUYLER CROSBY,]
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, Numbers 75.
New Orleans, October 15, 1863.
Colonel E. G. Beckwith, commanding Defenses of New Orleans, will detail such number of officers from the convalescent camp of the Thirteenth Army Corps as may be necessary for duty in the provost-marshal's department, and will relieve Captains Page and [Samuel A.] Walling, and, if necessary, any other officers now on duty in the department, and order them to rejoin their regiments.
To enable Captains [Curtis W.] Kilborn and [Eugene] Tisdale to devote their entire time to the important duties intrusted to them of raising troops, Colonel Beckwith will relieve them from duty in the provost-marshal's department as speedily as possible.
Officers doing duty in the provost-marshal-general's department, or