HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WEST LOUISIANA,
Alexandria, June 21, 1864.
Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS, Chief of Staff, &c.:
GENERAL: In regard to military operations in this district since my assumption of command I have but little to report. My last news from the enemy at Morganza induces me to believe that he report mentioned in one of my communications to you that the force of the enemy that went up the Mississippi under A. J. Smith had return to Morganza, proves to be incorrect. Deserters and prisoners from the enemy report that the force now at that point consists of the Nineteenth Army Corps and two brigades of the Thirteenth, amounting to 6,000 or 7,000 men, with some 1,500 cavalry. Morganza has been strongly fortifiers and heavy guns placed i position, indicating a purpose of preventing any invasion of the La Fourche country, such as took place last June under General Taylor.
While in command of mi division and in camp near David's ferry I sent Major J. L. Robinson, with a squadron of cavalry attached to the division east of Black River, to break up the plantations of Federal lessees and to destroy the supplies of forage and subsistence which were being collected into depots and shipped to Morganza for the use of the enemy.
Major Robinson reports that his expedition has been quite successful and that he had burned several large of corn, all the gins and mills in use by the Yankees and disloyal planters, captured a considerable number of horses and mules, and extending his operations to within 4 miles of Vidalia. He was followed from that point by a regiment of the enemy's cavalry, but succeeded after some skirmishing in crossing Black River in safety. Everything is quiet in the Teche country except the smugglers, against whom Colonel Bush who commands in that section, is waging a successful war.
Before Lieutenant-General Taylor was relieved preliminary arrangements had been entered into by Major Levy, inspector-general of the district, with the Federal Commissioner of exchanges, having for their object the exchange of such of the Vicksburg and Port Hudson prisoners as we could collect into camps. As a preliminary to this, orders were issued to these paroled prisoners to report themselves to Brigadier-General Thomas, who was instructed to form a camp near this place. These men are coming in slowly unwillingly, but by vigorous measures and some necessary examples of severity I have hopes of being able to put a good brigade (as to numbers) into the field, provided the project above spoken of is carried successfully through by Colonel Szymanski, who is now clothed with the authority of conducting negotiations on this subject.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. WALKER,
P. S.-Major-General Buckner reached here this morning and proceeds at once to Shreveport by steamer, leaving this morning. The news brought by him is, upon the whole, cheering. I inclose copies of late telegrams* which embody the main features of the news.
J. W. W.
* Not found.