battalion were armed with Texas rifles, double-barrel guns, and a very few muskets with very few exceptions. I did not see a gun that was entirely serviceable.
I have the honor, general, to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. J. DU BOSE,
Captain and Chief Ordnance Officer, Dist. Ind. Ter.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WEST LOUISIANA,
February 27, 1864.
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of dispatches of the 24th instant, on the subject of crossing arms. The reports of all operations connected with this business wee forwarded directly to department headquarters by the officers engaged. When General Liddell assumed command at Monroe he was directed to continue the exertions there being made, and to advise himself, through General Dockery and Colonel Harrison, of all past and existing arrangements. Since then the movements of the enemy have ut an end to all crossing. By advices received yesterday Sherman's advance was only 18 miles from Meridian, to which point General Polk had fallen back. As far as ascertained there were no arms for the Trans-Mississippi Department west of Meridian. Major Price was at Selma, and a lieutenant, with some arms, at Meridian. This latter was, I believe, sent over by General Allen. the history of the arms in charge of Brigadier-General Ross, and the reasons governing that officer in his withdrawal from the point opposite Gaines' Landing, have been forwarded to department headquarters. The views of General Polk, as explained by H. Safford's dispatch, wee expressed prior to Sherman's movement, and are impracticable at this time.
The bulk of Banks' forces are east of New Orleans, and Farragut's flag-ship, with others, is at Pensacola. We shall no doubt speedily hear of an attack on Mobile. The enemy is still receiving re-enforcements of cavalry at New Orleans, a regiment having passed the mouth of Red River on the 25th. Re-enforcements of mounted troops are arriving on the Teche, and a raid on a formidable scale will be made on Opelousas, and perhaps this side. In addition, the bands of outlaws and deserters are ravaging the country west of Opelousas and up to that town. I am utterly unable to prevent this with my present cavalry force. Infantry can effect nothing on the Opelousas prairies either against the enemy's cavalry or against the jayhawkers. Colonel Vincent's regiment comprises my entire force of this arm south of Red River, and a squadron of this regiment I am compelled to keep in the Grossetete country and in Pointe Coupee, north of Red River. General Liddell has Harrison's command, 900 strong, and complains that the force is utterly inadequate to do the duty necessarily imposed upon it.
General Polignac, whose brigade is covering the works at Trinity and Harrisonburg, urges the necessity of a mounted force, being unable to picket in his front and on the Black River below him. The two seam-boat companies on duty near Fort De Russy have