Taylor and Mouton desire, to Natchitoches, or shall I send it to Houston? No news from the front.
Houston, November 2, 1863.
Major [WILLIAM] HYLLESTED:
SIR: I have ascertained the following information by questioning the Federal deserters this morning, viz:
That Banks commands the army, and Franklin commands the Nineteenth Army Corps; Washburn, the Thirteenth Army Corps.
The Nineteenth Army Corps has three divisions. The First Division is commanded by Weitzel; don't know the names of the commanders of the Second and Third Divisions.
The Thirteenth Army Corps consists of two divisions, the First and Fourth, each division of two brigades. The whole army consists of forty regiments of infantry, of from 500 to 600 strong, and from 2,000 to 3,000 cavalry; ten batteries of light artillery of six guns each, and ten siege guns; also one battery of flying artillery in the advance with the cavalry.
Two Louisiana and one Texas regiment of cavalry, from 300 to 400 strong, compose the advance guard. The Texas regiment is commanded by Davis.
There has been no fortifying or intrenching around Vermillionville. The prisoners give it as their opinion that there will be no move made toward Niblett's Bluff, but that the whole force was on the move toward Opelousas. The prisoners, William Moore and H. Clifford, of the One hundred and seventy-fifth New York Regiment, Company H, First Division of the Nineteenth Army Corps, say that they deserted on the 20th ultimo.
The foregoing statement is given as the news passing in camp. The prisoners arrived here to-day.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. E. LOCKETT,
Lieutenant, and Provost-Marshal.
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., November 2, 1863.
Major General RICHARD TAYLOR,
Commanding District of Western Louisiana:
GENERAL: I am instructed by Lieutenant-General Smith to say he wishes you to afford every facility to officers and men now in your district and belonging to the command of General J. E. Johnston to recross the Mississippi River.
The army of General Johnston is in the vicinity of the Mississippi, and, by strengthening him the facilities for keeping open communication with the other side of the river will be increased.
I am, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
S. S. ANDERSON,