War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0802 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

Of course, I shall take no step precipitately, or without being fully impressed with the necessity, nor should I do it without full consultation with the officers mentioned, and the Adjutant-General, now here.

I shall report again by the Crescent a few hours later.

Very respectfully, I am, general, your obedient servant,

CHAS. P. STONE,

Brigadier-General, and Chief of Staff.

GOODRICH'S LANDING, LA.,

November 16, 1863.

Major General J. B. McPHERSON,

Vicksburg, Miss.:

GENERAL: A person who had been out on Joe's Bayou tells me that Mrs.-, at whose house he staid over night, was informed through a rebel soldier that the rebels at Monroe were under marching orders to leave there last Friday. It was not stated in what direction they were to go, but the impression was conveyed that they were coming this way. Their reported strength is 15,000. From another party he got the report that they were coming this way; that they intended to wipe our the troops and plantations this side of the river. I hope a better gunboat will be sent me than the one now here. It is heavily loaded with ordnance stores, and would have no leave out of danger in case we are attacked by artillery. I understood Franklin is on his return march; so an officer from Vicksburg tells me. This will leave Price's hands free to operate in this direction. If this point and Milliken's have any strategies or other value, a large re-enforcement is required to assure their safety. If the value is small, the risk overbalances it; the play is not worth the candle, and your order for the abandonment would, in such case, be the better policy. So the question resolves itself, in my mind, into proper re-enforcements or abandonment.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN P. HAWKINS,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

GOODRICH'S LANDING, LA.,

November 16, 1863.

Major General J. B. McPHERSON,

Vicksburg, Miss.:

GENERAL: The contingency of abandoning this place and Milliken's Bend, spoken of in my letter to you of this date, has been more fully through over since that letter was written. There is a military consideration in keeping possession, and also the adherence to the Government policy with regard to the leasing of plantations and giving employment to the freed negroes. The question of retention or abandonment involves many nice points, which, in a war point of view, may be resolved into the question of strength at your command, inclining you to do the one or the other.

When the plantation policy was adopted, the Government had a large force near by, part of which might be diverted for its protection. That force is now much diminished. Is what remains sufficient to carry out the original intention in case of attack by a superior force? If it is,