War of the Rebellion: Serial 062 Page 0654 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter XLVI.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,

Alexandria, March 19, 1864.

Major General N. P. BANKS,

Commanding Department of the Gulf, New Orleans:

GENERAL: I would recommend that the superintendent of the telegraph be directed to run a cable across the Mississippi River at Port Hudson, and construct a line on this side of the river to the mouth of the Red River, and thence to this point.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. P. STONE,

Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,

New Orleans, March 19, 1864.

Colonel S. B. HOLABIRD,

Chief Quartermaster, Department of the Gulf:

SIR: I am directed by the commanding general to communicate to you, for your information and guidance, the following dispatch from Brigadier General P. St. George Cooke, and reply thereto:

BATON ROUGE, March 19, 1864-11.40 a.m.

Colonel R. B. IRWIN,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

Chief quartermaster reports there is no transportation available. Shall steamers be sent from below? Is it wished to seize the coast packets? Regiments from Plaquemine not known to have transportation.

P. ST. GEO. COOKE,

Brigadier-General.

NEW ORLEANS, March 19, 1864.

Brigadier-General COOKE:

The chief quartermaster of the Department of the Gulf will furnish transportation in a few days.

RICHD. B. IRWINN.

I remain, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

RICHD. B. IRWIN,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

ALEXANDRIA, LA, March 19, 1864.

Colonel S. B. HOLABIRD,

Chief Quartermaster, Department of the Gulf:

COLONEL: I arrived here at 2 p.m. this day, and have to report as follows, viz:

General A. J. Smith and General

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are here with parts of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Army Corps. General Lee arrived here this afternoon, and the probability is that all of his troops will arrive to-morrow. General Smith in on board of fifteen transports and five boats of the Marine Brigade. I find that there is a quartermaster on board, who is acting under the order of Colonel Bingham in relation to the management of the fleet, mustering of the officers and crew, &c. I called on General Smith this afternoon. He says that he has commissary stores for thirty days, and that he is obtaining all the forage he requires from the country. I spoke to General