Abstract from returns of the District of Western Louisiana, Major General Richard Taylor, C. S. Army, commanding, for November, 1863; headquarters, Alexandria.
Present for duty.
Command. Officer Men. Aggrega Aggrega Remarks.
s. te te
First(Walkers 375 3,878 4,843 7,203 Hawes'
) Division Randal's,
Second 220 2,654 3,275 5,797 Mouton's
First 191 2,350 3,299 5,623
Harrison's 59 840 1,048 1,782 Capers' and
Martin's 4 93 97 97
Artillery 28 842 949 1,327 Benton's
Total* 877 10,657 13,441 21,829 Artillery.
*Parsons' brigade left the district since last report.
C. S. STEAMER J. F. CARR,
Four miles below Matagorda, T ex., December 1, 1863- 12 m.
[Major- General MAGRUDER:]
GENERAL: Yesterday I left my moorings at 4 p. m., and steamed some 10 miles down the bay, when as I anticipated, I met two of the enemy's gunboats coming up the bay, at a distance of some 4 or 5 miles from me. I had, as I stated in my last, but 30 men, sent on board at Saluria in place of 30 artillerists that had been drilled at the guns. Lieutenant [T. D.] Woodward, of Captain [John A.] Vernon's company, informs me that Colonel Bradfute sent 10 of Captain Rice's worst men, who cannot speak a word of English; th a balance of the detachment from the militia, who cannot tell their nostrils from a double barrel shotgun, to work the guns on board- one 12 pounder howitzer and one 18 pounder howitzer. Believing it impossible, under the circumstances, to be successful in attacking the enemy, I returned again to my former moorings.
I sent Captain Sheppard to Matagorda last night at 11 'clock, to bring down the light draught vessels to lighter the Carr over the bar at Dog Island. He returned at 2 o'clock this morning, when I commenced to take from the Carr the provisions mentioned in my last, and it impossible to lighter the Carr sufficiently to cross the bar, intending, if attacked, to fight the enemy as long as I could, and, if not successful, to carry my men and whatever stores I could up to Matagorda on the Cora, destroying the Carr, if it became necessary.
This morning at daylight the enemy's gunboats lay at a distance of 3 miles from me, apparently waiting my advance, but did not approach nearer, probably on account of the draught of water. They can carry 8 1\2 feet to within 1\2 miles of Dog Island Bar, at which place I am now lying, waiting for the tide to get through.
At 10 a. m. the enemy's gunboats steamed down the bay, and at this moment are nearly out of sight.
Owing to the norther that has been blowing for the last three days,
30 R- VOL XXVI, PT II