DONALDSONVILLE, LA., January 6, 1864-6 p. m.
Received 4.45 p. m., 8th.)
Brigadier General C. P. STONE,
Remainder of cavalry left here for Port Hudson. Everything quiet.
W. O. FICKE,
Colonel, Commanding Post.
HEADQUARTERS THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Point Isabel, January 6, 1864.
Major General F. J. HERRON, Commanding at Brownsville:
GENERAL: We are wind-bound here and have not yet been able to communicate with the Saint Mary's, but hope to do so by noon to-day. I have concluded, inasmuch as you can always procure corn in Matamoras, and as I am informed there is little or none at Pass cavallo, to take 300 sacks from here, and have ordered that quantity from the Hale to the Saint Mary's. I am astonished to find that the brig. Scion is stilling outside the bar unloaded. Her cargo of forage, consisting of about 3,300 sacks of corn, 1,530 bushels of oats, and 90 bales of hay, was puschad some time ago with the understanding that she would cross the bar and unload at Brazos.
There has been some great blundering which has caused her still to be unloaded. Colonel Hodge says there have been times since she has been when her whole load could have been lightened off; but only about 900 sacks of corn and they hay have been brought in, because he has considered it a matter of dobt, from Major Carpenter's representations, whether the whole load had been purchased. I certainly have understood from Major Carpenter that the reason why the forage did not arrive faster at Brownsville was because the whole wagon train was reserved to haul subsistence stores. I had not an idea it had not been landed. Major Carpenter should attend to his matter before he leaves, and have it entirely straight.
The agreement of the vessels with Major Carpenter was to cross over the bar; if she not done so on account of their draught of water the risk is hers, not ours. She should pay for the lighterage and al the costs of that at the same rates as she would have paid at the month of the river should be charged against her cargo. i understand now that the same persons who sold the corn to Major Carpenter bought the cotton which was sold by Captain Leach to supply the funds to pay for it and other supplies, and there are 200 bales here to be loaded on the Scion after she is discharged. This will give us a guarantee for the whole performance of the bargain, but the lighterage of the cotton from Brazos over the bar should also be paid for.
I have detailed these matters in order that you may fully understand them, and see that Major Carpenter does not leave until he has settled the business; he has the funds to pay, and indeed too much, because the offset of the lighterage will reduce the amount.
I think one quartermaster here is sufficient; the two, Pitkin and own, are somewhat in each other's way, and I suggest that Captain Pitkin be ordered to Brownsville and leave Captain Own here in charge of the whole depot.
N. J. T. DANA,
3 R R-VOL XXXIV. PT II