Floyd, increased by McNeill's, Johnson's, and other companies. He learned also that Mr. Smith's (Kirby Smith's) command was expected to join from Bastrop. This is the direction, I presume, that troops would move from Arkadelphia. The last news I saw in the Northern papers was that not much more than a picket was left at the latter place, the remainder being withdrawn. I have no doubt as to the truth of the number of cannon seen and the number of cavalry reported. He (the negro) said, also, that he heard that they had two other pieces of artillery. The reported number of cavalry is sufficient to sweep over the district - not enough to hurt my command. What other force they may have in reserve to accomplish the latter, I have no other means of judging than is herein stated.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN P. HAWKINS,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, November 10, 1863.
VICE-CONSUL OF FRANCE,
Mr. CONSUL: Your respected letter of yesterday's date to the provost-marshal-general of the department has been this day referred to those headquarters. Therein you inform the provost-marshal-general that you have received a protest from several French subjects, passengers on board the schooner J. W. Wilder, which regularly cleared from the custom-house, on the 21st October, for the Mexican port of Matamoras, and which sailed the same day from New Orleans, was stopped lower down the river by superior authority, and, being without knowledge of any order, either from the Government at Washington or from the military authorities of this department, which could have induced what may have been the reason for the adoption of a measure which, you state, will, if continued, be hurtful to the interests of your co-patriots.
In reply, I have the honor to inform you that said vessel was detained and prevented from making her intended voyage by command of the major-general commanding the department, for the reason that it was limited period of time, any communication between the port of New Orleans and that of Matamoras, Mexico.
The major-general commanding experienced a sincere regret that any interruption of lawful commerce should result from his operations, but deemed the measure referred to as one of absolute necessity to the good of the public service of the country.
With regard to the refusal of passes hence to Tampico, and Vera Cruz, I would state that at this moment none can be granted, for god military reasons. The restrictions in this respect, as in the former, will doubtless soon by removed.
The letter of November 3 instant to the provost-marshal-general, of which you had the goodness to inclose a copy, having been referred to the proper office, will be duly answered on receipt of report.
With great respect, I have the honor to be, Mr. Consul, your most obedient servant,
CHAS. P. STONE,
Brigadier-General, and Chief of Staff.