CAMP AT OPELOUSAS,
October 20, 1863.
In reply to your communication of to-day, I have the honor to state that my position is a good one. Should it be necessary to meet any ordinary or probable force of the enemy, I do not anticipate being dislodged from it.
Should this possibly occur, I will bear in mind your instructions. I am unable to say what force there is now front of my position. The enemy's pickets are still in view.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
October 23, 1863.
Major General W. B. FRANKLIN,
Commanding Troops in the Teche Basin:
GENERAL: The major-general commanding desires that two regiments of good troops the sent without delay to this city from the forces in the Teche Basin. They will be reported to the commander of the Defenses of New Orleans.
Very respectfully, I am, general, your obedient servant,
CHAS. P. STONE,
Brigadier-General, and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS TROOPS IN THE FIELD,
October 23, 1863.
Brigadier General A. L. LEE,
Commanding Cavalry, Department of the Gulf:
GENERAL: Information which I have received to-day induces me to believe that the enemy has retired from our immediate front. The cavalry with General Grover has been out 5 miles to the left of Opelousas and 3 miles to its front, and has seen no enemy. If, therefore, the roads are in condition to-morrow, I wish you to make a reconnaissance toward Washington, and as far as Montville, if possible, with all your available force, so as to demonstrate the fact. Leave only the pickets and reserves about your present position, and dispose of General Grover's cavalry by orders sent through him, leaving his pickets and reserves. After the reconnaissance is finished, send back his cavalry as soon as possible. Let me know the result as soon as any result is obtained.
Very respectfully, yours,
W. F. FRANKLIN,
HDQRS. NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS, Numbers 18.
October 24, 1863.
The major-general commanding takes this opportunity publicly to express his thanks to Lieuts. R. H. Ryall, Sixth Missouri Cavalry, and George W. Naylor, Second Illinois Cavalry, for valuable services rendered by these officers on a reconnaissance upon he Courtableau River, under circumstances demanding unusual courage, caution, and intelli-