freight as vessels cannot get near the shore, but they are always unloaded at the earliest possible moment. The Crescent and Clinton, when last here, were detained two days after they were unloaded by streets of weather. I have again sent Captain Stone to New Orleans for supplies. I hope he will meet with better success that the last time. We are without a thing to eat except salt meat. I have two brigades at Indianola, and they have not a mouthful of anything but fresh beef. The steamer Catawba came to the bar this morning. She has colored troops, with rations only until to-morrow. The major informs me that the boat has comparatively nothing in the spathe of freight on board, and that he begged, for the privilege of taking five days' more rations, but was not allowed to do so, but was told that he would find an abundant supply here.
The steamer Continental, an immense ship, has been of the bar three or four days with nothing but a few troops on board. In addition to what she brought, she could have brought from 700 to 1,000 tons of forage and commissary stores. But why should I repeat these things? The weather from December 1 to December 25 was splendid, and vessels the bar could have been unloaded almost any day. Since the 1st January the weather has been as bad as you can imagine, and being without rations you can well imagine the temper of the troops. The steamer Alabama arrived last night, having been absent from here eighteen days, twelve of which were in the port of New Orleans. It is a rare thing for any of the boats that go from here to return in less than twelve days. If you will inquire you can ascertain where the delay, is you may be sure that it is not here.
I am, general, your obedient servant,
C. C. WASHBURN,
P. S.-The tug-boat sent for a dispatch -boat is useless by reason of heavy draught and want of coal.
Baton Rouge, La., January 4, 1864-9 a. m.
Brigadier General C. P. STONE,
Chief of Staff, Dept, of the Gulf, New Orleans, La.:
The Comites and Amite are high. Nothing new since yesterday Much rain is falling.
P. ST. GEO. COOKE.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, January 4, 1864.
Brigadier General PHILIP ST. GEORGE COOKE,
Commanding District of Baton Rouge:
GENERAL: The commanding general desires that you instruct Colonel Sheldon to retain his own and one other regiment at Plaquemine, and to sent the other two regiments to New Orleans, to be reported to these headquarters.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
[C. P. STONE,]
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.