ham. They have returned and gone down the river. They went against my advice, and I suppose were acting under orders from their superiors. Captain Barrett was in commanding of the party.
L. A. SHELDON,
HEADQUARTERS, Baton Rouge, La., February 19, 1864.
Some days ago complaint was made to me of depredation on a loyal citizen opposite town, and acts of violence there, which it thus appears were committed by this force, which appears to me to be improper and impolitic.
P. ST. GEO. COOKE,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Army, Commanding.
HDQRS. COMPANY B, FIRST LOUISIANA CAVALRY, Napoleonville, La., February 18, 1864.
Captain WILLIAM J. DENSLOW,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Thibodeaux, La.:
SIR: I have the honor of forwarding to you an account of the scout form which I have just returned: On the 11th instant, pursuant to orders, I reported with my command to Colonel Fiske at Donaldsonville, and was by him ordered to go to Lake Natchez. I then proceeded up the Mississippi River about 13 miles, when I turned off to the left in direction of Laked Natchez and stopped at Ross' place, about 2 miles from the lake, where I learned it was impossible to cross to the west side of the lake. I started from this place for Plaquemine with the intention of coming down by Grand River, Bayou Pigeon, and Lake Pierre to the Bayou La Fourche. Arrived at Plaquemine, I ascertained that it was impossible for cavalry to travel by the above-named route.
At Plaquemine I reported to Colonel Sheldon, and asked him if it would be prudent for me to go to Grossetete and ascertain what was going on there. He thought it would, and promised to give me 30 of his cavalry. When I got ready to start, about 6 p. m., he refused to give me the force he had promised me; he said the reason he refused to let me have the men was that he heard there were 300 rebels at Grossetete. I crossed the bayou at Plaquemine and proceeded on to West Baton Rouge; from this place I marched along the railroad to Rosedale, on Bayou Grossetete, where I came across the enemy's picket, capturing 1. Here I found two flat-boats full of sugar and several wagons loaded with cotton, all going to Plaquemine. I also learned that the cotton and sugar speculators can go in and out of our lines whenever they wish. I then returned by Grossetet Bayou to Indiana Village, and crossed on flat-boats that Colonel Sheldon had provided, coming home by Plaquemine.
I heard of a robbery within 3 miles of Rosedale, said to have been committed by my rear guard. I immediately had the party comprising the rear guard taken into a room and searched, but