DONALDSONVILLE, LA., March 6, 1864. (Received 9 a.m.)
Chief of Staff:
SIR: Colonel Dudley's brigade left there this morning at 7 o'clock for Thibodeaux.
W. O. FISKE,
HDQRS. NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS, No. 65. AND U. S. FORCES IN W. LOUISIANA, Franklin, March 6, 1864.
1. The One hundred and fifty-third Regiment New York Volunteers, having reported to these headquarters in pursuance of orders from headquarters department, for temporary assignment to the First Division, Nineteenth Army Corps, is hereby assigned to the First Brigade, First Division.
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By order of Major-General Franklin:
WESTON, MO., March 6, 1864.
Major General W. S. ROSECRANS:
SIR: As requested by you, I write you in regard to our part of Missouri. I have been over Clay and Platte Counties since my return, and assure you that a much better condition of affairs exists than has at any time previous since 1860. Our farmers are planting in a feeling of security, and business of all kinds seems healthy and buoyant. The militia now on duty are, in opinion, greatly conducive to that state of affairs, and although many are destitute (having received no pay), they keep quiet in the population as much as is possible during the military occupation of any country. Some disturbances of course occur, often exaggerated or entirely misrepresented, that no prudence can well guard against, but these are now of rare occurrence. While this is the case, I fear that the disbanding of them would again subject my district to the anarchy it experienced in the earlier part of 1863. Of course many are restive under the prospect of the draft, but many will pay out and give it no concern. Others think Missouri will escape it by getting credit for the services her Enfolled Missouri Militia have performed.
I would respectfully suggest that commissioners of exemption for all the border counties be appointed at an early day, and while on duty it would be desirable to guard the river and border; to have two companies on duty, and after that one might perform all the police duty of this county and perhaps 60 or 75 men in Clay County. After May, much of the material that breeds disturbance on the border will have been absorbed by the tide of emigration to the West, and those remaining will mostly be occupied in the pursuits of industry.
In Clay I found some bitterness engendered by misapprehensions, &c., but I believe it has all been satisfactorily adjusted, to the credit of Colonel Moss and most of our men; but it is almost impossible,