Missouri Coteau, where I designed striking it. I followed Colonel Thomas' trail back to the crossing of the James River, which we reached Sunday morning and encamped about three miles above, nearly opposite the mouth of Elm River. Had we followed the course traveled from the Missouri to where we met the Indians we would have reached the foot of the Missouri Coteau on Thursday, and within a mile of the encampment of Colonel Thomas. At the Elm River we met some Indians from Fort Thompson, on the Missouri, from whom we learned there were no traces of troops along the James. This induced me to return to the trail of Colonel Thomas and follow it as far as Horseshoe Lake on the Coteau, both on account of water and with a view of striking from there to the lower end of the timbered portion of the Coteau, that I might follow it up until I reached the trail of the troops; or if they had not passed up until I found the encampments of the scouts. I encamped at the foot of the coteau on Monday and at Horseshoe Lake on Tuesday. On Wednesday I left the trail of Colonel Thomas and proceeded east of north to Burdache Lake, where I encamped.
On Thursday, soon after leaving camp, I struck the hunting road of the scouts running northwest, which I followed, and after traveling some ten miles passed near the camp of Captain Fisk, and soon after reached the road made by your command, which I followed and reached your present camp that evening.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. R. BROWN,
Chief of Scouts.
U. S. STEAM-SHIP LA FAYETTE,
August 2, 1864. (Received 7th.)
Major General E. R. S. CANBY,
Commanding Division of West Mississippi:
SIR: Your communication of the 26th ultimo, addressed to Captain Ramsay, has just come to hand, having been detained at the mouth of Red River. I immediately gave orders to have a vessel patrol that portion of the river constantly, and to guard against any attempt on the part of the enemy to cross at that point. I also gave signals to have all boats within ten miles of that point, above and below, to go to his assistance if necessary. I have also stationed an iron-clad to watch the movements of the enemy at Vidalia. If I can be of any service to you I shall be pleased to assist in any movement you may have in contemplation on this river.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAB. P. FOSTER,
Lieutenant Comdr., U. S. Navy, Commanding Second Dis., Mississippi River.
GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, Numbers 106.
New Orleans, August 2, 1864.
In pursuance of paragraph II, General Orders, Numbers 29, headquarters Military Division of West Mississippi,* all able-bodied men of color, between the ages of eighteen and forty years, will be enlisted for the military
*See p. 429.