War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0900 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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NOVEMBER 9, 1864.

Epitome of information gained in reference to Gaines' Landing and the vicinity:

Eli Wells left Monticello on the 7th. No troops were in Monticello at that time. Magruder had from 6,000 to 10,000 men; was in Monticello two months and left there five weeks since. J. S. Montgomery, living on Bayou Bartholomew, very intelligent and very reliable, met Parsons' regiment twelve miles from Gaines' Landing, going WEST toward Monticello, about 800 strong; was told that Carter's (Texas) regiment was to take their place as cotton pickets along Bayou Macon; Magruder, with Polignac's and Walker's DIVISIONS, was at Camden, ninety miles west; Wharton's command of cavalry at Washington, on Saline River, about 600 to 800 strong; had been there five weeks. Magruder had been at Monticello for two months previous to going to Caten the country out entirely. No rebel force anywhere in vicinity that would fight, and had heard hundreds say they would not go east of the MISSISSIPPI River.

Very respectfully,

E. D. OSBAND,

Colonel, Commanding Cavalry Forces.

Explanation of the Cotton Bureau of the Trans-MISSISSIPPI Department - headquarters at Shreveport, La., branch office at Monticello - Colonel Polk in command.

NOVEMBER 9, 1864.

A man by the name of Belzer had visited Shreveport in behalf of people living east of Monticello, and had perfected the following arrangement: The Confederate Government takes one-half the cotton at the gin. Previously have hauled it and hid it in piles, but now left it at the gin in care of the former owner; after the man has turned one-half to the Confederate Government he takes this certificate to Monticello and obtains Polk's permit to ship upon paying Belzer the export dues, 60 cents per bale in specie. This being indorsed on the back of the permit, the man can bring his cotton to the river-bank for sale. The Confederate Government expects to sell this one-half of all the cotton to the Yankees, and a man by the name of Snyzer, or Snizer, has offered to buy it. Colonel Parkman, of Memphis, offered to buy it, and is in league with them in several operations. In case they can't sell it they propose to burn all the cotton. Four hundred bales of this cotton is on Gum Ridge, sixteen miles from Lake Village, and can be reached any time when it is dry. Cotton boats must bring the specie to pay the export dues, or else it could not be paid. Cotton boats are scattered all along the river, and the Confederates makes no scruple of their desire to sell the Government one-half for greenbacks.

Respectfully,

E. D. OSBAND,

Colonel, Commanding Cavalry Forces.

Lieutenant Colonel T. H. HARRIS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.