HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WEST LOUISIANA,
Alexandria, February 4, 1864.
Major R. E. WYCHE,
Commanding Battalion Louisiana State Troops:
MAJOR: Forward to Brigadier-General Polignac, at Harrisonburg, the accompanying document at once. The major-general commanding directs that you will then move with your command in the direction of Holloway's Prairie for the purpose of scouring the parish of Rapids, north of Red River, in quest of jayhawkers and deserters. Two officers were attack by a party of these men last evening about 6 miles from this point on the road to David's Ferry, and one of hem was very severely wounded. Such outrages must be punished with a strong hand, and you are therefore directed to scour this portion of the country thoroughly, and every man found with arms in his hands, against whom reasonable suspicion exists of a determination to resist the laws, will be shot by you on the spot.
Such men must not be arrested. You will further arrest and send to this post every man capable of bearing arms, of whatever age, who cannot give substantial proof of his loyalty to the Government.
In performing this day you may find a few loyal men, residents of the locality, willing to act as guides. Complaints have been received from various citizens of the neighborhood, who have expressed their willingness to point out the rendezvous and hiding places of these outlaws, but you must use the services of such parties with discretion and secrecy in order that they may not suffer hereafter. It is not intended that you should confine yourself strictly to Rapides Parish, by wherever you can hear of these villains go after them, provided it is within a reasonable distance of the central point of your operations, which perhaps should be Holloway's Prairie.
The major-general commanding expects from you the utmost exertion in the prosecution of this duty and directs that every man be cleared out of the country, deserters, jayhawkers, and conscripts who cannot give a perfectly satisfactory account of themselves, before you leave it. Take possession of their horses, keep them in the swamps, and starve them out if there is no other means of reaching them.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
FEBRUARY 4, 1864.
Brigadier General C. J. POLIGNAC,
GENERAL: In consequence of recent outrages committed by jayhawkers in this vicinity it has been necessary to remove Major Wyche's command of mounted men temporarily from the neighborhood of Trinity and Balack River, where they have been scouting and picketing, and assign them, as the only available mounted force, to the duty of clearing the country of these outlaws. The major-general commanding directs that you be informed of this fact, in order that you may extend your scouts in that direction.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,