supply of forage is exhausted, and the roads are so bad that it cannot be hauled. The only remedy is to move to the corn-cribs. Every effort should be made to concentrate corn at Columbia and Brazoria, to be held solely for the use of the troops when they may be employed on the coast near Velasco. As it now is, there would be nothing to feed a horse with. I assure the general that hauling supplies for this army is now impracticable, and should it rain again in a few days the campaign in this section is over for three months.
Forage cannot now be obtained in any quantity at a less distance than 50 miles from Velasco, on the Caney near Wharton. The consumption is about 2,000 bushels per day, which will soon consume the corn for 100 miles around. This adds very much to the difficulties in the way of the general commanding, but will also serve to confine the enemy to the coast until spring. I shall at once ascertain if the enemy are throwing up works on the beach, and drive them off. Shall communicate with our flotilla and do everything to comply with the orders of the general. In thus briefly recounting all that I have no doubt is familiar to the major-general commanding, it is but to remind him that a failure on my part to carry out instructions, as contained in his letter to me dated Houston, January 5, 1864, will be due to circumstances over which I have no control.
The weather has been very severe; men and animals have suffered, the latter for three days without forage. Sick report this morning, 285, not including Likens' regiment. I would suggest that the signal corps be ordered to establish communications between the mouth of Caney and Velasco. It is not now in operation.
I have the honor to bee, with great respect, your obedient servant,
H. P. BEE,
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., January 8, 1864.
Major General R. TAYLOR:
GENERAL: I am instructed by the lieutenant-general commanding to inclose you the accompanying official copy* of a list of cotton in your district, east of Monroe, which he especially desires shall not be destroyed by our forces. He wishes you to give such orders and to adopt such measures as may insure the exemption of this cotton from destruction by our forces.
I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
ALEXANDRIA, January 8, 1864.
Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS,
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report: The enemy have still some 8,000 men on the Teche; the larger portion at New Iberia. There is no present indication of a design to weaken this force. Franklin still commands at New Iberia. He is mount
* Not found.