fierce north winds prevailing at this season blow these down, slit the cloth, unless the tents are entirely new, drifts the sand and rain all through the wards in spite of any all efforts to prevent it, thus exposing the sick. It is too late to get material and build a hospital for this winter, but with a small amount of lumber barricades may be put up to break the force of the wind that will render the hospital comfortable. This lumber may be obtained here if I have a light-draught boat. I find the command very deficient in clothing, and shall remedy this at once. In relation to the matter especially referred to in your letter of instructions, I find that beef and other commissary supplies have been sold to refugees, when they had money; also to officers of the Mexican battalion on the island, but so far as I have been able to discover these sales have been properly reported and accounted for on the commissary returns. Parties have frequently come this way in passing from Matamoras to New Orleans, desired to pay their transportation, and in cases where they had no currency they have been charged $50 in specie by the quartermaster. This has also been accounted for as far as I have yet discovered. I shall sift these matters to the bottom and report the facts. I can thoroughly equip and render his command efficient in four weeks, if my requisitions for supplies and material are promptly filled.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. A. PILE,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers.
Washington, November 6, 1864-9 p.m.
Please forward with all possible dispatch to the naval officer commanding at Mobile Bay, the following order.
Washington, November 6, 1864.
NAVAL OFFICER IN COMMAND IN MOBILE BAY:
Do not on any account, or on any showing of authority whatever, from whomsoever purporting to come, allow the blockade to be violated.
(Copy also sent to care of Captain Sheldon, Hilton Head, to be forwarded from there to Mobile by first opportunity.)
TEMPORARY HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,
Mouth of White River, La., November 6, 1864.
Major General J. J. REYNOLDS,
Commanding Nineteenth Army Corps:
GENERAL: Major-General Canby directs me to say to you that you are placed in charge of the operations and of the troops designed to prevent the enemy from effecting a crossing from the west to the east bank of Mississippi. He desires you to have on hand at the mouth
29 R R-VOL XLI, PT IV