My desire to alleviate the distress of the people induced me to wink at the trade of a few bales for family supplies. Abuses of this forced me to execute the law rigorously, and on the Teche quite a quantity has been lately seized by Colonel Vincent. I deeply sympathize with Colonel Bosworht's case, but he will see on reflection the impropriety of his request. The enemy have the same force as last reported at Franklin. A brigade of troops recently left New Orleans for the lake shore, and the supposition is that a combined movement on Mobile is about to take place. Farragut, who is in New Orleans, seems to be preparing for a move with this fleet.
I send you a copy of a letter* just received from General Magruder, and ask that you will furnish whatever information you may have on the subject mentioned. Troops are certainly being moved front eh interior of Mississippi to Mobile, which looks as if General and the other en route for this place. I regret that it has not been possible to send more cavalry to General Scurry. Perhaps some may be embodied east of the Atchafalaya. If so, you can authorize its increase. Good to the service is likely to result. We cannot enforce the conscript law in that region, and I do not doubt that the department commander will receive organizations, likely to be useful, raised in the region near the enemy and partially in his control.
Your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS PRICE'S DIVISION,
Camp Sumter, February 3, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel J. F. BELTON,
COLONEL: The pontoon-boats placed at my disposal at Fulton by Captain Mackey are twenty-one in number, but are not called or pitched, and no lumber to make decks. Measures have been taken to put them in a condition for sue with the least possible delay. At present our only communication with the opposite side of Red River at Dooley's Ferry is a single flat-boat, altogether insufficient for transportation our forage. I have another flat-boat under way, which I trust will be in use by the end of the week.
The command is generally scarce of forage, and will be until our bating facilities at the river are increased, and as Captain Johnson, post quartermaster at Fulton, has tow flats, one with wheels working on a crank and the other for ferry purposes, at that point, I request that the former may be temporarily assigned to this division to assist in bringing provisions and forage down the river to Dooley's Ferry. Some additional transportation of this kind is most essential at this moment especially.
I am informed that there are several small steamers at Shreveport. One or two of these, if placed under my orders, could be most economically used in freighting commissary and quartermaster's supplies from above and below to Dooley's Ferry. The saving of hauling over most execrable roads would be immense. I therefore most