War of the Rebellion: Serial 062 Page 0583 Chapter XLVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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FRANKLIN, LA., March 13, 1864-5.30 p.m.

(Received 7.30 p.m.)

Brigadier-General STONE,

Chief of Staff:

Your two dispatches received. I had already ordered one brigade of cavalry to New Iberia to-morrow when the dispatch arrived. Shall order the movement of all the cavalry to that point to-morrow. Shall it keep right on toward Alexandria? I request instructions about leaving troops to hold this place and New Iberia.

W. B. FRANKLIN,

Major-General, Commanding.

[First indorsement.]

Respectfully transmitted to the major-general commanding department.

My first dispatch herein acknowledged ordered the movement of all the cavalry to-morrow. My second ordered the movement of the cavalry to-night and of the infantry force to-morrow. What shall I instruct General Franklin about leaving force at Franklin and about pushing the cavalry toward Alexandria without the support of the infantry? I suppose if Lee moves carefully he can go with his force safely nearly to Red River.

CHAS. P. STONE,

Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.

[Second indorsement.]

It will not be well to push the cavalry beyond supporting distance of the infantry, but the whole force or as much as can be moved with safely should be pushed rapidly toward Alexandria. Fort De Russy is our first point, unless the enemy evacuates. Nothing should be left at Franklin or New Iberia after our departure. Our communication will be exclusively by Red River. I hope we can reach that point in advance of Hurlbut's command.

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.

[Third indorsement.]

The major-general commanding's indorsement communicated to Major-General Franklin at 9 p.m.

C. P. S.

FRANKLIN, LA., March 13, 1864.-5.30 p.m.

Brigadier-General STONE,

Chief of Staff:

The bridge at Vermillion crossing is down, and I have no idea that the bayou is fordable. I shall therefore instruct General Lee to take the Teche road from New Iberia, leaving it about east of Grand Coteau, if possible, then marching in two or three columns within supporting distance. None of the pontoon train has arrived or seems likely to arrive in time to aid the cavalry in crossing Vermillion Bayou, and I think it cannot cross it without great delay without it.

W. B. FRANKLIN,

Major-General, Commanding.