I wish to make my unqualified approval both of the utility of the corps and the conduct of its officers.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
MEMPHIS, TENN., December 30, 1863-4.30 p.m.
Honorable GIDEON WELLES, Secretary of the Navy:
The Tennessee, at Mobile, will be ready for sea in twenty days. She is a dangerous craft; Buchanan thinks more so than the Merrimac. She is a ram; makes 8 knots; armed with 10-inch columbiads, and has heavy Blakely guns. This news just received.
S. A. HURLBUT,
Major-General, Commanding Sixteenth Army Corps.
PORT HUDSON, LA., December 31, 1863.
Brigadier General CHARLES P. STONE, Chief of Staff, New Orleans, La.:
There are still parties of guerrillas on the west bank. A boat was fired into, with musketry only, by them this morning. Two deserters from the rebels, Marshall and Conner, this morning report not over 500 rebels anywhere in this vicinity. Principal rendezvous at white house, near Woodville. Most of the rebels are now said to be on furlough for the holidays, to concentrate on the 6th of January. I am improving the opportunity to forage.
GEO. L. ANDREWS,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding Post.
Abstract from returns of the Department of the Gulf, Major General, N. P. Banks, U. S. Army, commanding, for the month of December, 1863.*
Present for duty of artillery.
Command. Offi Men Aggreg Aggreg Heav Fiel Remark
cers ate ate y d s
t t and
Staff and 32 79 125 162 - - New
s troops s, La.
Engineer 76 1,401 1,810 1,980 - - Do.
Total 108 1,480 1,935 2,142 - -
Staff 17 - 17 24 - - Browns
First 246 3,552 4,068 6,370 8 18 Decrow
Second 235 3,804 4,832 7,621 - 12 Browns
Third 167 3,090 3,464 4,750 - 6 Algier
Division s, La.
Fourth 117 1,795 2,208 5,405 - 11 Decrow
Detachments 91 1,755 2,115 2,655 - - Texas.
Total. + 873 13,996 16,704 26,825 8 47
*Compiled as far as practicable from the subordinate returns.
+See abstracts from the monthly returns of Washburn's command, Thirteenth Army Corps, and Second Division, Thirteenth Army Corps.