troops in your vicinity to such persons as you may deem best fitted for such commissions; such appointments being subject to his approval.
Should you need subsistence stores at Brownsville during the season when it is so difficult to land them at Brazos Santiago you are, of course authorized to purchase them at Matamoras, and pay for them from proceeds of cotton in your possession. The chief quartermaster will correspond with you in reference to purchase of animals. I think it will be impracticable to furnish cavalry horses from this depot for Texas.
The commanding general expresses his satisfaction with all that has been done at Brownsville during your occupation.
Very respectfully, I am, general, your most obedient servant,
CHAS. P. STONE
Brigadier-General, and Chief of Staff.
PORT HUDSON, LA.,
December 16, 1863.
Brigadier General CHARLES P. STONE
Chief of Staff, New Orleans:
Two deserters from the rebels this morning report the rebels as having mostly left this side the Atchafalaya. It would seem from all reports that their whole force was 10,000 men. Their artillery is stated as very numerous, sixty to seventy pieces, mostly field, but poorly horsed. Movement across Atchafalaya ordered December 7. Captain Foster is here. His information seems now to agree pretty well with that brought by the deserters. Taylor and Green are said to have gone toward New Iberia. Kirby Smith said to be at Washington.
GEO. L. ANDREWS.
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding Post.
Fort Jackson, December 17, 1863.,
Brigadier General CHARLES P. STONE,
Chief of Staff, &c.:
GENERAL: Major Maloney's command moved from the position in which I had placed it, and steamed up the river yesterday afternoon without notifying me. I understood from you that force constituted a portion of my command. I stated in my last communication that I recommended that some white troops should remain in this vicinity until the leaders in the late mutiny shall be punished.
While I do not anticipate any trouble here, for the leaders in the late mutiny were all arrested day before yesterday, and this command is quiet and orderly, and while I believe that if the most severe punishment known to military law cannot be inflicted on these leaders in mutiny by the regiment to which they belong, colored troops are utterly untrustworthy and therefore worthless, still, I think it wise to have some white troops at hand until the case is established.
It seems to me quite as important to know whether these soldiers are equal to the highest efforts of discipline as it was to know whether they would fight. From the telegram which I received yesterday from the commanding general, I was in hopes that the boats which arrived here last night would have the members of the commission on board. Forty-eighth hours seems to me long enough for men to live after their