lows: To occupy the line of Camp Parapet and Company's Canal, with a ferry to insure the rapid transit of troops across the river. Scouts and pickets were sent out in all directions. It was determined to hold the line of the Company Canal if possible. A vigilant espionage was kept up down Barataria Bay, on and about Lake Salvador, to ascertain if the enemy were attempting to get in our rear by that route. If they should succeed in doing so it was determined to abandon the right bank of the river, and fight with the gun-boats and our batteries across the river, allowing them to bombard the city if they pleased. Camp Parapet to be held to the last, should they succeed in sending a force across at Donaldsonville and move down this side of the river.
In case of the removal of the greater portion of our forces to a distance form the river, I have always regarded it as of the first importance that we should be certain of obtaining assistance from our forces at Vicksburg and that vicinity in case of danger to New Orleans. In regard to the strength and character of the city and other points, I would recommend as follows: New Orleans and immediate outposts, 5,000 infantry, 400 cavalry, two mounted batteries (halfrifled guns); all the siege and field guns in the city should be put in order and placed in charge of officers and men at some cotton-press, to be used for this purpose only; teams should be in readiness to move these guns and their ammunition to any point desired.
The ordnance store-houses should be numerous and exposed as little as possible to the enemy's fire. There should be an acting engineer officer who should be familiar with all the coalities about the city, and be familiar with the theory of its defense. Of the above force of infantry, one-half might be well-drilled colored troops. Baton Rouge, as recommended by the Board; Port Hudson, the same; Donaldsonville and Plaquemine, the same; Berwick City, Opelousas Railroad, Thibodeaux, and Napoleonville, 2,500 men, principally colored troops; 400 should be mounted men. A force advancing from the upper Atchafalaya down the Grossetete would move down the La Fourche and cut the Opelousas railroad, interrupting the communications with Berwick Bay.
The force above indicated would retard the enemy so that the force at Berwick could be withdrawn. In view of this all surplus stores not required for the garrison and defense of Brashear City should be removed as soon as that point ceases to be a depot for the force in front of it. Garrison of Fort Livingston, 250, heavy artillery (colored); Frots Jackson and Saint Philip, two regiments of colored troops; Forts Pike, Macomb, and Battery Bienville, as at present.
[D. C. HOUSTON,
Major and Chief of Engineers.]
FRANKLIN, LA., February 12, 1864-11.30 a. m.
Chief of Staff:
I recommend that the One hundred and tenth New York Regiment be sent to Key West. I hope, however, that no infantry will be taken from here until the troops that are to relieve them arrive here.
W. B. FRANKLIN,