complaints of the citizens interested. During eighteen months' service in the State I can safely assert that no complaint has ever failed to meet prompt consideration and such redress as was proper. I need scarcely point out to you the necessities of the army for transportation, especially in view of the supply for the brigade lately under your command. With regard to the country east of the Atchafalaya it is very clear that we cannot protect it when the rivers are high, for a few gun-boats can completely isolate it by the Atchafalaya.
The enemy has a formidable expedition ready for an attempt on the Red River, and only awaits a rise in the rivers. The first act will certainly be to strip the country in his power of all its transportation. The planters will not only lose their property, but it will be used against the remainder of our people. The order to secure this transportation has been improperly executed, and will be stopped at once. There are some other matters to which I wish to invite your attention and secure your assistance. I have obtained a revocation of the order to burn the cotton of citizens in exposed districts, as it deprives our people of the means of subsistence at the very moment we are leaving them to the mercy of the enemy, but the schedule of prices remains in force. I inclose a copy* of a late communication on the subject. My views are certainly correct, and justice to our people demands the repeal of this system.
Another great and just ground of complaint is the failure, of the Government to furnish money. I have frequently borrowed large sums of money on my own credit to remedy this evil. Certified accounts bear heavily on our people, forcing them to wait payment in a currency which is daily depreciating. My administration is a constant struggle against these difficulties, and I am constantly called on to decide between a practical disbandment of the army or the oppression of the citizen. I abhor the whole system of impressment, and have predicted from the first that it will ultimately render our army worthless and alienate our people. Called on to meet largely superior force of the enemy with troops mostly raw and undisciplined, while struggling with the difficulties mentioned, my bed has assuredly not bee one of roses. hard as it has been, however, I have occupied it without a murmur, and if I have long felt a desire for relief it has proceeded from no wish to escape labor, but from the conviction that a successor could be found better able to promote the interest of Louisiana and the success of her cause.
With high respect, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WEST LOUISIANA,
Alexandria, February 1, 1864.
Brigadier General C. J. POLIGNAC,
GENERAL: I have the honor, by direction of the major-general commanding, to reply to your communication of 28th January ultimo to Major E. Surget, assistant adjutant-general, and to say that he cordially approves of the raid you propose on Vidalia. Ad-