War of the Rebellion: Serial 062 Page 0784 Chapter XLVI. LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI.

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could be placed there and cover the crossing, while the ground on this side is very low and flat for at least three-quarters of a mile from the place my vedette is posted.

My men would be exposed to a murderous fire, while theirs would be perfectly protected the sand-hills. I will throw up a rifle-pit across the point of the island, and should the enemy come (an event I do not anticipate) I will do the best I can, but respectfully ask that I be allowed more latitude than my instructions contemplate as to the plan to make the strongest resistance. I am informed there is another place they can cross Cedar Bayou, and have sent out to determine the fact.

Captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. C. MATTHEWS,

Major, Commanding.

HDQRS. DETACH. 7TH ARMY CORPS, DEPT. OF ARK.,

Little Rock, Ark., March 30, 1864.

Major General F. STEELE,

Commanding Department:

GENERAL: Since writing yesterday I find that the messenger has returned. A squad will go with Lieutenant Faber, the bearer of this. From information received I learnt that McRae is collecting a force with the intention of attempting a raid on our railroad. To check him I have organized a force under Colonel C. C. Andrews, consisting of Third Minnesota Volunteer Infantry and about 100 cavalry of Eight Missouri. The colonel, with this force, will leave here to-night and go to Devall's Bluff by rail, thence to Augusta by steamer, and endeavor to capture McRae and his force or disperse them.

I have withdrawn the force from Austin, and have the road well protected. At most of the bridges stockades are completed, and I will soon have all the bridges protected in like mannet, so that they may be easily protected by our small forces. Major Green will advise you Colonel Clayton's move from Pine Bluff. I have had no news from General Banks other than the newspaper reports of the capture of Fort De Russy, no Red River, by General A. J. Smith.

No veteran regiment have arrived as yet. My effective force here is over 4,000. I will be sure to give any force that may be sent against me a good thrashing. I look for the Twelfth Michigan and fifty-fourth Illinois-the first within the next few days and the last by the 10th April. This will give me 2,000 more infantry, and them I will be much obliged you will drive General Price up this way.

Again wishing you complete success, I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

NATHAN KIMBALL,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DETACH 7TH ARMY CORPS, DEPT. OF ARK.,

Little Rock, Ark., March 30, 1864.

Colonel C. C. ANDREWS,

Commanding Expedition:

COLONEL: The general commanding directs that you take such troops as was agreed upon between him and you, and proceed upon