DONALDSONVILLE, LA., February 9, 1864-7 p. m.
The enemy last night between 11 and 12 o'clock made a raid at the Doyal plantation, on the opposite side of the river, capturing the pickets stationed there by General Cooke. They took 8 prisoners and left 2 behind wounded. There were from 100 to 150 of the enemy, commanded by Captain Henry Doyal. I am informed that this same Doyal plantation has recently been turned over by the Government to Captain Doyal's sister, Mrs. Miner. Colonel Sheldon reports that there are rumors that the enemy are moving toward Plaquemine, but on the opposite side on the Atchafalaya. He will know definitely to-morrow.
W. O. FISKE,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, February 9, 1864.
Plaquemine, via Donaldsonville:
SIR: There are frequent reports of persons and goods passing from Plaquemine to the enemy, and of persons passing very freely through the lines at your posts to those of the enemy. This must be immediately arrested. Boat-loads of stores from Plaquemine have been seized in Grand Lake while in transitu from Plaquemine to Opeloausas. You must exercise a close supervision over the provost-marshal, as you are alone responsible for any irregularities committed at your post.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHAS. P. STONE,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Matagorda Bay, February 9, 1864.
Major General E. O. C. ORD,
Commanding Thirteenth Corps, New Orleans:
I have the honor to reply to your two communications of the 8th instant. In stating what follows, I desire particularly to be understood not as counseling a defensive policy here, for my opinions are exactly the contrary, believing, as I do, that the results already obtained by the great outlay of this expensive expedition fall far short of satisfying the expectations of the country, and that the inactive policy which has prevailed in Texas since its occupation, both here and on the Rio Grande, has resulted in the loss of good opportunities, and tended, in some degree, to impair the impetuosity of this fine body of troops, and has decidedly increased the morals and confidence of the rebels.
The longer this state of things exists, I frankly (perhaps too frankly) and confidentially state to you, as I believe my duty to myself requires, it is my opinion the more the cause will suffer, first, by the enemy so strengthening his position (as he is constantly