a. On the first point: The possession of the post by the enemy would give him facilities for running his cotton out of the country, rendering a strong blockading naval force necessary, while our possession of the post will facilitate the operations of the navy on Grand Lake, Lake Palourde, and the Atchafalaya.
b. On the second point: Brashear City is an important post on one of the only two principal land routes from Western Louisiana to New Orleans. If the enemy held Brashear they could land at Bayou Boeuf, crossing in their raids, or on more important expeditions.
c. On the third point: Several movements against the enemy have already been made from this post. It is true that it seems improbable that such movements will be made again at present, and, if made, it is probable that a different line of operations would be selected. Still this post is an important one, from which by land and water there are several routes to Western Louisiana.
d. On the forth point: The possession of this post by the enemy would greatly facilitate his raids upon the La Fourche District, and would enable him to destroy a great part of the railroad.
The objects in holding Berwick City would seem to be:
First. To prevent the enemy from occupying it and to aid in holding Berwick Bay.
Second. To occupy the place with reference to future movement against the enemy.
a. On the first point: If Brashear is held strongly with a naval force in Berwick Bay it would be very difficult for the enemy to establish himself at Berwick City, and if he should do so the post would be of little advantage to him so long as we hold Brashear. It is hardly probable under the circumstances that he would attempt it. As to the aid in holding Berwick Bay, considering the small force available, to occupy Berwick is to divide the force badly and expose both to be taken. If the enemy should attack the post at Berwick City in large force with the necessary artillery he would certainly capture it with the weak garrison that could be afforded against his attacks upon Brashear. The broad and deep Berwick Bay and the naval force controlling the lakes would seem to give great security.
b. The probability of requiring the tete-de-pont at Berwick for movements against the enemy seems too remote to justify incurring the necessary risk in holding it. The work in its present state would be of no service to the enemy, the gorge being open to the fire of artillery from Brashear. The mound inside should be destroyed. The post at Bayou Boeuf, protecting the railroad bridge against the enemy's rids, and requiring but a small force, say one or two companies, seems to be necessary. It would be well to protect this force by a small stockade, or Fort Weitzel might be repaired.
The conclusion is, then, that Berwick City should be abandoned, and Brashear and the small post at Bayou Boeuf held. Fort Brashear is too small to hold the necessary garrison for a place of such importance. Not over 250 or 300 men could occupy it comfortably. There is not room inside to hold the necessary rations, say at least thirty days' supply.
Fort Buchanan, although useful in its bearing upon Berwick City, the bay and the entrance to the Teche is too small, and too far off, to aid much in holding the place against an attack on the land side. Many of the buildings at Brashear are much in the way of the artillery fire of Fort Brashear and the gun-boats. To increase the strength of the