War of the Rebellion: Serial 062 Page 0056 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter XLVI.

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If the rebels could be driven south of that river, it would serve as a shorter and better line of defense for Arkansas and Missouri than that now occupied by General Steele; moreover, it would open to us the cotton and stores in Northeastern Louisiana and Southern Arkansas.

I am inclined to think that this opens a better field of operations than any other for such troops as General Grant can spare during the winter. I have written to him, and also to General Steele, on this subject.

Please advise me whether you want more field artillery sent to your department, and also in regard to the shipment of animals from the Northeast.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

BATON ROUGE, La., January 11, 1864-9.30 a.m. Received 11.30 a.m.]

Brigadier General C. P. STONE,

Chief of Staff:

I received yesterday a report of a large force of the enemy just beyond Amite River. Not credited, but a party sent out to get news. Has not returned.

P. ST. GEO. COOKE,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

BATON ROUGE, LA., January 11, 1864. [Received 8 p.m.]

Brigadier General C. P. STONE,

Chief of Staff:

No news from the front yesterday. Scout, Lieutenant Earl and 10 men, not returned. A patrol now out.

P. S. GEO. COOKE,

Commanding Post.

PORT HUDSON, LA., January 11, 1864. [Received 7.20 p.m.]

Brigadier General C. P. STONE:

The party sent to Baton Rouge to repair wire returned unmolested this p.m. A forage party went to within 4 miles of Jackson this p.m. and saw but few of Scott's men. The party brought twenty loads of corn in. Roads very bad. Nothing new from up river.

GEO. L. ANDREWS,

Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding Post.

OFFICE ACTING ASSISTANT QUARTERMASTER, Point Isabel, Tex., January 11, 1864.

Major-General ORD,

Commanding Thirteenth Army Corps:

GENERAL: I have the honor to make the following report in regard to my means of transportation, together with the number of