War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0852 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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that the usages of war do not justify, I shall detain the bearer as a prisoner of war.

I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. C. WASHBURN.,

Major-General, Commanding.

P. S. - The two men that accompanied Lieutenant Mann, I am informed were allowed to return home.

PORT HUDSON, LA., December 13, 1863.

Brigadier General CHARLES P. STONE, Chief of Staff, New Orleans:

Major Ward has just returned and brings from Captain Foster, of the gunboat Lafayette the following information:

Foster had just returned from mouth of Red River. He writes me add follows; Forces operating near mouth of Red River, 6,000, change positions continually. Colonel Carpenter, of Jessie Scouts, reports the entire force between Shreveport and Bayou Sara, 25,000. Force at present near the river, opposite Bayou Sara, is 15,000 men, who are felling timber, to cross the river on rafts, it is supposed. Firing on transports is doubtless for the purpose of diverting the attention of gunboats, while they attempt to cross below. They rigidly exclude intercourse within their lines, and conceal their timber operations; their object evidently is to cross the river, and probably attack Port Hudson or Baton Rouge. Principal part of their force is gradually moving southward; they feign movements against our forces south. General Dick Taylor has made some movements of this kind, with ostentation, but has used every effort to conceal his designs if any, to cross the river. The enemy is now sufficiently concentrated to be formidable, if he can succeed in crossing the river, but he will hardly accomplish his purpose in any considerable number. The force west of the river is under the command of Kirby Smith; his brigadiers are Taylor, Mounton, Green, Major, Maxwell [Maxey?], and Walker. On east bank of river, 2,000 or 3,000 men, under General [Colonel F. P.] Powers, headquarters at Woodville. An Alabama regiment encamped within 7 miles of Bayou Sara for some time, but, like most of rebel forces, are migratory. General Mouton is in immediate command of the forces on the west side of river. There is now 10 feet water on the bar, at mouth of Red River. Foster thinks the rise is back water caused by rise in the Mississippi. The above is the substance of Foster's information.

I do not see how they can have so large a force. The operation of crossing so large a force seems to me very hazardous. The timber cutting may be only what is necessary for fuel and shelter. However, I would recommend an increase of the gunboat force between here and Red River temporarily. The gunboats now on this station are nearly out of coal.

GEO. L. ANDREWS,

Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding Post.

SPECIAL ORDERS,

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,

Numbers 311.

New Orleans, December 13, 1863.

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II. The post of Fort Jackson, La., is hereby constituted a separate command, and, until further orders, the garrison will be reported directly to these headquarters.