HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Indianola, Tex., February 1, 1864.
Captain HUGH G. BROWN,
Assistant Adjutant-General, U. S. Forces:
CAPTAIN: As I understand that the major-general intends to have some buildings erected at Decrow's Point for the storage of quartermaster and commissary supplies, the material for which is to be obtained from buildings at this place, and as a large amount of lumber will be required for the repairing of the pier and for the defensive works now being constructed here, I would respectfully suggest the propriety of an expedition to Foster's house, near Chicolet Bayou, to seize upon and bring in the lumber in his possession. If the suggestion meets with the general's approval, I would request permission to send one brigade, or two if thought best, with all the wagons in the command, to accomplish the object proposed. The expedition will go prepared with three days' rations, though I think two will be all the time required. The distance to be marched is 15 miles.
I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. P. BENTON,
PATTERSON, February 1, 1864.
Brigadier General C. B. FISK,
Commanding District of Saint Louis:
SIR: The guerrillas have made their appearance again in squads of from 2 to 15 in number. Yesterday a gang, was between here and Ironton. My men are after them. They are also on Black River; I have men after them also. They killed 1 on yesterday, a very bad man. General, I have watched them long, and I become more than ever convinced that many of the people between here and Arkansas will either have to be killed or moved out of the State. Many men and women who are at home do us more damage than the regular soldier; they feed, harbor, and conceal the guerrillas. Our good, loyal friend Mrs. Byrne has been a regular spy since the commencement of the war. I have no doubt of this, and we have many of them. Copeland, the same who lost the mules, is no better, and many others.
General, if Mrs. Byrne was a man, and guilty of the crimes that she is, he would not live here twenty-four hours. Robert Bryant, of Ironton (merchant), is playing a large game. I fear we will never be able to destroy guerrillas while we permit their friends to remain amongst us. On yesterday the sheriff of this county was taken away by jayhawkers and perhaps killed. If they do kill him, many will be the rebel who bites the dust. I think these gangs came from the direction of Alton, Orange County, Mo., and perhaps belong to Freeman's guerrillas. I would like very much to execute any order to properly punish the friends of those rascals. We attend to all the jayhawkers we get.
Your obedient servant,
W. T. LEEPER,
Captain, Commanding Post.