War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0860 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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with boats drawing over 3 feet for a greater distance than about 20 miles, so that water communication after leaving here will be of little use. At the proper time I will, make a demonstration in the direction of San Antonio, and shall endeavor to convey the idea, so far as I can, that we intend to move in that direction.

Respectfully, yours,

C. C. WASHBURN,.

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES FORCES,

Fort Esperanza, December 15, 1863.

Brigadier General CHARLES P. STONE,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: I inclose report of the strength of this command.* You will observe that I have 6,321, or, exclusive of the colored regiment, 5,865. That you may fully understand with what rapidity men and supplies are being concentrated here, I would say that in the last thirteen days 380 soldiers of the Forty-ninth Indiana have arrived here, also the Engineer (colored) Regiment. We have also received in the same time 10 wagons and about 150 mules a nd horses, also about two days' forage. We have on hand about eight days' rations.

Respectfully, yours,

C. C. WASHBURN,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS

Fort Jackson, December 15, 1863.

Brigadier General CHARLES P. STONE,

Chief of Staff, &c.:

SIR: In compliance with the orders you handed me, I have assumed this command. I found on my way here the steamer Empire Parish, near the quarantine, having on board Major Maloney's command of the First U. S. Infantry. I directed Major Maloney to move down to this fort, and the Empire Parish in now about a quarter of a mile above the usual landing for the fort with Major Maloney's command still on board. There are no quarters for that command within this fort, and only a small detachment could be placed here if they had their own tents. The ground outside the fort is not fit to encamp upon.

I do not find this garrison in a state of insubordination. The minds of the greater part of the soldiers here are in a healthy state; they know a great military crime has been committed, and they expect the guilty to suffer. This crime should be promptly punished; the example should be immediate and of the severest character. Until that punishment is inflicted, it will be well for Major Maloney's command to remain where it now is; but after that, the presence of white troops here does not appear to me necessary. The late affair is a warning against trusting foolish and passionate officers in high command over these black troops. But the details of the affair do not prove to my mind that these soldiers cannot be trusted. On the contrary, this occurrence may be made such an example of discipline as will render these soldiers more than ever trustworthy. It shows that great care must be taken in the selection of officers who are to be trusted in command of these soldiers when a regiment is separated from the corps to which it belongs.

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*Omitted.

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