HEADQUARTERS RED RIVER EXPEDITION,
On Steamer Clara Bell, Alexandria, La., March 21, 1864.
Colonel N. A. M. DUDLEY,
Commanding Fourth Brigadier, Cav. Div., Dept. of the Gulf:
COLONEL: I have sent orders to General Mower to return to his boats. You will order the return of all your cavalry, they accompanying the column of General Mower, or, if the general has made the entire circuit of the bayou, he will probably return by the river road and take with him that portion of the cavalry that has been ordered to report to him. In that case you will order the return of that portion placed out as pickets by yourself on the bayou.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. J. SMITH,
MARCH 21, 1864-9 p.m.
Brigadier General C. P. STONE,
Chief of Staff, Department of the Gulf:
GENERAL: The man at whose house I am staying (Mr. Biossat) is a steam-boat captain. He knows this river thoroughly, and came down from Shreveport on the last boat which came down. He seems to be quite acquainted with the surroundings of Shreveport and the nature of its defenses. If you desire to see him I will bring him down in the morning. Do you get any further intelligence from the front? If you deem it best, I think I can safely go to the front in the morning. I will call early.
A. L. LEE,
BRONWSVILLE, ARK., March 21, 1864.
Captain E. D. MASON, Assistant Adjutant-General:
SIR: Captain Miller, commanding detachment at Austin, sent in a courier last night, stating that squads from McRae's command were in the neighborhood of Austin, arresting Union men and stealing horses, and requesting me to ask Colonel Geiger, of the Eighth Missouri Cavalry, to send a party to that place. Captain Miller's dispatch was sent to Colonel Geiger, who replied by telegraph that he would send a scout. It will be impossible for infantry to protect the loyal citizens of that section. I therefore respectfully request that a detachment of cavalry be sent either to relieve Captain Miller or report to him for duty.
HDQRS. 2nd DIV., 7TH ARMY CORPS, DEPT. OF ARK.,
March 21, 1864.
Respectfully forwarded for the information of the major-general commanding.
The application of Lieutenant-Colonel Thrall is approved and recommended.