enemy by movements over inland waters, we have not be means of carrying now more than 1,000 infantry, without artillery or cavalry, and could not land in half an hour over half that force. To do this we would have to use the pontoons, as I did to carry the 30-pounder to Indianola. We have here only ten pontoons.
When the Warrior is repaired she will be our most useful boat, as she can carry more than both the others together. I am informed that before my arrival here a master of transportation was sent down here by Colonel Holabird to manage the water transportation. One is of the greatest necessity, as none of our quartermasters are sailors and they can all be deceived by the officers on transports. This master transportation, not liking the fix of things here, remarked that he done here, and he left. Captain Garber informs me that he carried an estimate for the repair of the Warrior with him to New Orleans, but nothing has been heard of him yet. Captain G informs me also that he had within a day or two received invoices of material for that purpose, viz, some rivets, tools, and small articles, but the article of which boilers are made, to wit, boiler iron, is not mentioned in the list.
I must have two or three efficient quartermasters, live men, and who have some rank. Men who can be made use of nowhere and who have been changed around from place to place to be got rid of by every one who had had them heretofore are of no service. I do not want them, and if they come, shall give them nothing to do. I would prefer to detail some energetic private from the ranks on extra duty for the duty. If I could get some offices of the quartermaster's department who can do a little duty in the field as assiduously and incessantly as they do it in their easy chairs in some of our large cities I would like it. I am happy to inform you that I have no complaints whatever to make against the subsistence department. I have had the good fortune to be ably and efficiently served by those officers who have been with me.
"To him that hatch much, more shall be given." I have a large number of crafts which are very indifferent, as I have reported above, and I now ask, in addition to men capable of managing them, to be supplied liberally with the means of mending them, and also with two powerful river steamers of not over 3 feet draught, capable of carrying large numbers of troops and animals, and which, by coming out of the mouth of the Mississippi after a norther, can safely reach here, and one propeller of power and not over 7 feet draught when she has her coal on board. I am informed that the captain of the Planter has gone to New Orleans to sell his boat to the quartermaster. If she is taken at his valuation the Government will probably be swindled.
I have the honor to remain, with much respect,
N. J. T. DANA,
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES ON THE RIO GRANDE,
Brownsville, Tex., January [27?], 1864.
Brigadier General CHARLES P. STONE, Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: After three weeks' trial, I am satisfied that our line of communication via Point Isabel is not the correct one under exist-