ALEXANDRIA, LA., March 21, 1864.
Colonel S. B. HOLABIRD,
Chief Quartermaster, New Orleans, La.:
COLONEL: I take advantage of a dispatch-boat to write you. I have not as yet been able to do anything except to secure warehouses in anticipation of the arrival of stores. General Stone thinks about half forage for 15,000 animals should be sent up. General Lee has arrived with his whole cavalry force and is out to-day with his command on a reconnaissance. There is scarcely a wagon or a horse to be found about this town, and I shall have to rely upon the division train to haul stores from the landing to the warehouses. I have to request you to please send up some clerks if you can procure any, as I have none; also a good wagon-master and carpenter.
The levee is very bad for landing stores, and it will take a large force of laborers to put the forage onto the bluff. The contrabands fit for any service whatever are being mustered into service as soldiers, so that I shall have to take the old men and boys. I can find should be sent up. General Smith is confident that he can go over without the hawsers, but I doubt it very much. I inclose a list of blanks and stationery that I desire sent up by first steamer, as I am writing on the last sheet of paper and there is none to be procured here. Colonel Sargent was shot through the leg to-day in a skirmish and has just been brought in.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. N. WELCH,
Captain and Assistant Quartermaster.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, Numbers 72.
New Orleans, La., March 21, 1864.
1. The Second Missouri Colored Regiment will remain at Port Hudson, and report to Brigadier General George L. Andrews, commanding that post.
* * * * * * *
By command of Major-General Banks:
RICHD. B. IRWIN,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, March 21, 1864.
Twenty-fifth Regiment, Corps d'Afrique, Franklin, La.:
COLONEL: You will immediately evacuate Franklin, after removing all the public property, and proceed by steamer to Brashear City, reporting on your arrival to the commanding officer. Your regiment will furnish detail for labor on the fortifications at Brashear City, on the requisition of Colonel Charles L. Norton, Fourth Engineer Regiment, Corps d'Afrique.
By order of Major-General Banks:
[JAS. GRANT WILSON,]
Colonel and Acting Aide-de-Camp.