War of the Rebellion: Serial 062 Page 0598 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter XLVI.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,

New Orleans, March 14, 1864.

Major General W. B. FRANKLIN,

Franklin:

GENERAL: I fear you will not get the pontoon train, there has been so much delay. The movements cannot wait for it. There are no large streams between you and Red River. It can follow with escort furnished by Grover.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. P. STONE,

Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.

FRANKLIN. LA., March 14, 1864-9.10 a.m.

(Received 9.15 a.m.)

Brigadier-General STONE,

Chief of Staff:

The cavalry started last evening at 8, and the last went through about an hour ago. General Lee has started. He will arrive at New Iberia to-night, and the telegraph will be there too.

I have ordered General Lee to proceed by two or three roads to vicinity of Red River and there communicate with General Hurlbut. These orders were given before the receipt of your last dispatch. He was also, after communicating with Hurlbut, to communicate with me somewhere near Washington. Now, if the cavalry is to be in supporting distance of the infantry, or in the slightest degree dependent upon its motion, it is my opinion that no part of this command will reach its destination in time to be of use; still, as my orders to General Lee are different from those of your dispatch, there is no time to countermand them. I think General Lee has cavalry and artillery enough to make him safe wherever he chooses to go, and now that he has started, he should go right on to Red River, no matter what he meets. The infantry should follow right after, marching rapidly after it starts, but not exhausting the men.

Excuse my making these suggestions for the action of the commanding general, but I think it of great importance that the cavalry should go at once to Red River, where there will be a prospect of the troops of this department getting to Fort De Russy before Hurlbut's.

W. B. FRANKLIN,

Major-General, Commanding.

FRANKLIN, LA., March 14, 1864.

Brigadier-General STONE,

Chief of Staff:

There are nearly 10,000 sacks of grain here that ought to be taken to the rear. If this post be broken up, I suggest that the Twenty-fifth (negro) Regiment be left here until the grain and hospital can be removed to Brashear, when it can go down too.

W. B. FRANKLIN,

Major-General, Commanding.