might be stopped at that point. General Hurlbut will be prepared for his conscription of horses by the 1st proximo, and the Thirty-first Massachusetts can be mounted here and sent up. I have had a great labor in refitting Lee's division. You can form some idea of the condition of it, when he and three of his principal staff officers report themselves unable to march after their late expedition. I found not bacon at this post to carry with me and sent to Morganza for it, as pork would not answer on account of the bulk. The pontoon train arrived here in bad shape. Some twenty-five drivers deserted and I had to replace twelve complete teams from this post. But all this has been righted and I shall be able to move with about 4,000 men, cavalry, artillery, and teamsters. I wish you would repeat to Commodore Palmer my wish that the navy may keep a lookout for me along the coast from Mississippi City to East Pascagoula from the 7th of December onward, so as to provide for all contingencies. My officers and troops are in good spirits and no exertions shall be spared to win success. I am fully impressed with the delicacy of the enterprise and of the difficulties to be met with on account of the absence of forage and subsistence along our show you what precautions I am taking.
With many thanks to you and Sawtelle for your kindness and promptness in all that I have asked for, I am, colonel, your obedient servant,
J. W. DAVIDSON,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.
[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY FORCES, MIL. DIV. OF WEST MISSISSIPPI, Numbers 1.
New Orleans, La., November 20, 1864.
1. The undersigned hereby assumes command of the cavalry forces Military Division of West Mississippi, ordered to report to him by paragraph 1 of Special Orders, Numbers 189, of November 19, 1864, from headquarters Military Division of West Mississippi.
II. The following-named officers are announced on the staff of the brigadier-general commanding, and will be obeyed and respected accordingly; Major A. G. McQueen, First Iowa Cavalry, chief of staff; Captain A. S. Montgomery, First Louisiana Cavalry, acting assistant adjutant-general; Captain Charles H. Thompson, U. S. Volunteers, chief commissary of subsistence; Asst. Surg. A. Hartsuff, U. S. Army, medical director; First Lieutenant Theodore D. Johnson, regimental quartermaster Third Iowa Cavalry, chief quartermaster; First Lieutenant E. A. Denicke, Signal Corps, U. S. Army, chief signal officer; First Lieutenant B. K. Roberts, Seventh Iowa Cavalry, acting aide-de-camp.
J. W. DAVIDSON,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Cavalry, Commanding.
[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY FORCES, MIL. DIV. OF WEST MISSISSIPPI, Numbers 2.
Baton Rouge, La., November 23, 1864.
I. This whole command will be immediately prepared to march, Lee's division holding itself in readiness to cross the river by the 26th