2. No negroes shall accompany the command except authorized officers' servants, employes of the quartermaster's and commissary departments, and enlisted cooks; and all officers' servants must be furnished with passes signed by their employers, stating their positions, and if they ride, whether they are authorized to ride. Any negro found riding a horse or mule without such a pass will be dismounted and arrested, and his animal will be turned over to the quartermaster's department.
3. No women shall accompany the command except by express authority from these headquarters, given upon written application through the ordinary channels.
4. Commanding officers and inspectors will give their personal attention to the proper execution of these orders.
By order of Major-General Franklin:
CONFIDENTIAL.] HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, March 3, 1864.
Major General FREDERICK STEELE,
Commanding U. S. Forces in Arkansas:
GENERAL: Since dispatching my aide-de-camp (Lieutenant Sargent) to you, I have had the advantage of a personal interview with Major General W. T. Sherman, commanding Department of the Tennessee. General Sherman will be ready to move in connection with the proposed operations of your and my expeditions against Shreveport on the 7th instant. I now have an efficient column prepared at Franklin, La., and intend to move on the 7th instant toward Alexandria, which point I expect to reach on the 17th instant, and to meet General Sherman's column at that point at that date.
General Sherman will probably clear the Black River of the enemy on his way to Alexandria. He is much in favor of your adopting a direct line from Little Rock to Shreveport by Camden and Overton; but in that matter you will of course use your own judgment. Inclosed I send you a copy of my letter* of yesterday's date to Major-General Sherman, to the requests of which he has given his assent. The force which I shall march from Franklin against Alexandria will be about 17,000 men, including at least 5,000 cavalry. Will you have the goodness, general, to inform me fully of your intentions by the return of the bearer of this letter?
Very respectfully, I am, general, your most obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF NORTHEASTERN ARKANSAS, Batesville, Ark., March 3, 1864.
First Nebraska Cavalry:
You will hereafter keep your men ready for action at a moment's notice. Every night they will have their arms and accouterments ready to put on, and a full supply of ammunition must be kept in
*See p. 481.