The batteries are thus divided: Six in Texas, five in the city of New Orleans, two at Plaquemine, La. The following is the condition of the batteries which are enumerated is Special Orders, No. 100, War Department, organizing regiment of mounted veteran artillery: Batteries B and C, First Missouri, not heard from officially, but have heard incidentally that Battery C had nearly all enlisted; batteries A and F-Battery A, 40 men; F, nearly all of the battery, but have been unable to be mustered into the service. Battery A, Second Illinois, officer in command informs me that over one-half the battery have enlisted; Battery E, Second Illinois, has only 66 men, 25 have enlisted. First Wisconsin Battery, 29 enlisted. Second Ohio Battery, 41 enlisted; total number 82. Sixteenth Ohio Battery, 56 enlisted. Seventeenth Ohio Battery, 105 enlisted. First Indiana Battery, have been informed, over one-half enlisted. Seventh Michigan, nearly all the battery have enlisted, but have been refused by mustering officer.
By the above there must be between 500 and 600-re-enlistments. I think it of the utmost importance that this organization be secured, as there is only one battery mustered into service, and unless the field officers are appointed they will make no effort to do anything further about it. On another account it forms a nucleus to which we can add from time to time recruits and form a more perfect organization of artillery than by any other method which now presents itself. Batteries A, B, C, and F, First Missouri Artillery, will have served their time, as well as Batteries A and E, Second Illinois, in May next. First Indiana, First Wisconsin, Sixteenth Ohio, Second Ohio, time will expire some time in July and August, and unless this organization can be completed I see no other way than that the Thirteenth Army Corps will have by September next but very little artillery indeed. I would therefore ask that this organization be completed, that we may have the united efforts of all the officers of the artillery in a work of so much importance as it is to keep acclimated and tried soldiers in the field.
Hoping this important matter may not be delayed, as every moment is of immense value, I am, most respectfully, yours,
JACOB T. FOSTER,
Captain, Actq. Chief Art.and Ord., Thirteenth Army Corps.
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, Decrow's Point, Tex., January 12, 1864.
Major General N. P. BANKS,
Commanding Department of the Gulf:
GENERAL: Your dispatches of the 2nd and 5th are received. In what I may have written heretofore, I do not wish to be understood as finding fault, but I have simply wished to point out errors of which I supposed you had no knowledge, that you might apply the proper corrective. Vessels drawing 8 1/2 feet can cross this bar with perfect safety; vessels that came here, such as the Continental and DeMolay, that could not cross the bar if they had no load, and as their loads have to be discharged outside, they may as well be fully loaded as not. I have nothing very important to communicate since my last. The bad weather since January 1 and the want of rations