War of the Rebellion: Serial 062 Page 0971 Chapter XLVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WEST LOUISIANA,

Alexandria, February 16, 1864.

Brigadier-General BOGGS,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: I have the honor to report my return to this point from Fort De Russy and the Atchafalaya. The works at the fort are well advanced, and will be quite effective so soon as we obtain the 9-inch guns and carriages from Shreveport. I trust these are on the way, as any delay will be unfortunate in the present condition of the rivers. The Mississippi is quite high and rising rapidly, and the Red River has risen some 3 feet at De Russy from backwater. Below De Russy the obstruction of sunken timber has been completed, blocking the river completely; above the sunken timber, piles strongly braced have been driven across the river, and four regiments of Walker's division are now engaged in filling in floating timber above the piles. For several miles below the raft and between the raft and De Russy rifle-pits and positions for light guns have been constructed, so that very serious resistance can be made before the raft is reached. Major-General Walker, whose division is stationed near, has been very energetic in pushing on the work and rendered very valuable assistance.

I have just made minute inspection of Hawes' and Randal's brigades of this division, and have never seen any troops in finer condition. No troops ever exhibited greater improvement in all the qualities of soldiers, and their present condition reflects great credit on the division and brigade commanders. I respectfully ask that Special Orders, Numbers 34, be revoked. General Hawes' brigade is in splendid order and a change would be very unfortunate. I beg leave to renew my request for the formation of a cavalry regiment. The companies alluded to in a previous communication are still awaiting definite instructions. Should the lieutenant-general commanding approve my plan, we can have an effective regiment in the field within a week. An answer to the application is respectfully asked.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. TAYLOR,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WEST LOUISIANA,

Alexandria, February 16, 1864.

Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: After fully testing the practicability of getting supplies from the enemy for the use of our army, and exchanging cotton therefore, I am satisfied that the policy of the enemy is so decidedly opposed to such arrangements that nothing can be procured from them with he consent of their authorities. Medicines, which, being light articles, are easily transported and smuggled through their lines, are coming in in considerable quantities, and I think the wants of this district, and perhaps medicines, but quartermaster and commissary stores will not be allowed to be brought to us, and, except in small quantities, which may occasionally be smuggled to us, cannot be had. I have been in communication with persons in New Orleans