War of the Rebellion: Serial 062 Page 0520 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter XLVI.

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which can land and act in concert with you. The lowness of water in the Mississippi and Red River is most extraordinary, and will embarrass us, but at all hazards and at whatever cost we should meet General Banks at Alexandria on the 17th instant. I will instruct my quartermaster to use small boats as far as possible, and suggest that you put some of your light iron-clads up as far as Alexandria anyhow, and wait there for a rise.

General Banks will move so as to turn the position at De Russy, so that a mere display of force on its water front will, connected with the movement of our troops on land, lead to the evacuation of the fort and it may be the surrender of its armament and garrison. At all events I think we should not let General Banks arrive at Alexandria without finding our river party there. You have bounced them from the Washita, and conjointly with my infantry, which will join you in a day or two, can also open up the Red River as far as Alexandria. Beyond that point I agree with you, and authorize you to use my name with General Banks, that a further move ought not to be attempted above Alexandria unless the river admit the navigation by your first-class iron-clads and large transports, viz, 7 feet of water on the rapids of Alexandria. I must hurry around to my command in the field at Huntsville, but send A. J. Smith to co-operate with you in Red, and leave General McPherson here on the Mississippi. With these I know you will take pleasure in conferring and co-operating harmoniously.

I am, with great respect,

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

SPECIAL ORDERS,

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, No. 58. New Orleans, March 7, 1864.

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2. I. The Second Battalion, Fourteenth Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, is relieved from duty in the Defenses of New Orleans, and will proceed to Plaquemine, La., to garrison the fort at that place.

II. The Forty-second Ohio and One hundred and twentieth Ohio Regiments of Volunteers, now serving at Plaquemine, will, on the arrival of the Second Battalion, Fourteenth Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, proceed to Baton Rouge, and report to the commander of that district for duty.

III. Sharpe's brigade, Second Division, Nineteenth Army Corps, now stationed at Baton Rouge, will be immediately prepared for service in the field.

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8. The First Indiana Field Artillery will proceed without delay to Franklin, La., and report to Brigadier-General Ransom, commanding Fourth Division, Thirteenth Army Corps. The quartermaster's department will furnish the necessary transportation.

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12. The Eighty-third Regiment Ohio Volunteers will rejoin the Fourth Division, Thirteenth Army Corps. The quartermaster's department will furnish the necessary transportation.

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By command of Major-General Banks:

RICHD. B. IRWIN,

Assistant Adjutant-General.