War of the Rebellion: Serial 062 Page 0343 Chapter XLVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,

New Orleans, February 16, 1864.

Major General W. B. FRANKLIN,

Franklin, La.:

GENERAL: The major-general commanding has learned nothing that will make your absence dangerous. The headquarters of Nineteenth Army Corps will be in New Orleans.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. P. STONE,

Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,

New Orleans, February 16, 1864.

Major General WILLIAM B. FRANKLIN,

Franklin:

GENERAL: A new Maine regiment, 750 strong, is just arriving, and will go forward to you without delay. The Thirtieth Massachusetts Regiment may be ordered to prepare to break up camp to come to Algiers. Which regiment do you wish to go next?

By command of Major-General Banks:

CHAS. P. STONE,

Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

New Orleans, La., February 16, 1864.

Brigadier General C. P. STONE,

Chief of Staff, Department of the Gulf:

SIR: In obedience to letter of instructions from Department headquarters--

to visit the principal points on the coast of Texas occupied by my corps to satisfy myself by personal examination of the safety of the position occupied, and further directing that if these positions can by securely held by a smaller force than is now there you (I) will please promptly report the fact; if re-enforcements of troops or vessels of war should seem to you (me) to be required you (I) will please report the amount and nature of re-enforcements necessary--

I beg to make the following report: I visited Decrow's Point, where I found a division (Ransom's); Fort Esperanza, where I found two battalions of black troops; aggregate present, 839; and Indianola,, where is also a division (Benton's). I recommend that Decrow's Point be for the present abandoned; the garrison at Matagorda Island be increased to 2,000 infantry, one 100-pounder Parrott and two 30-pounder Parrotts, and 150 cavalry; that the garrison at Indianola should be increased by 3,000 infantry, 500 cavalry, eight 32-pounder howitzers (brass), and four 20-pounder Parrotts.

The artillery are with 400 rounds of ammunition and complete implements, equipments, and carriages. Indianola I recommend should be held, if it is intended to begin active operations in Texas this season. Should it, however, be abandoned, the garrison of infantry at Fort Esperanza or Matagorda Island should be increased to 3,500 men. There should always by two light-draught gun-boats inside the Bay of Matagorda. A capable engineer officer is much