Mobile were both threatened. The operations in which General Dana is now engaged will probably terminate by the end of this month, and General Granger, as soon as he has secured the large amount of naval stores captured by him, will withdraw his troops from Pascagoula. The militia of Alabama will probably return to their homes still more indisposed than they now are to respond to another call. If General Thomas should now be able to carry out the intentions of General Sherman in relation to Selma, I can be of material service by operations from the river and Gulf. I will communicate with General Thomas and be prepared to aid him as far as possible.
E. R. S. CANBY,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF SIGNAL OFFICERS,
New Orleans, La., December 29, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel C. T. CHRISTENSEN,
Asst. Adjt. General, Mil. Div. of West Miss., New Orleans, La.:
SIR: I have the honor to submit to your consideration a statement of the information received at this office this 29th day of December, 1864, from the following source, the statement of John Patrick, who was arrested on the 12th of November, 1864, confined for nineteen days at Alexandria, escaped and reported to Brigadier-General Ullmann at Morganza on the 18th:
Louisiana: General Buckner's headquarters are at Alexandria; General Bagby's headquarters are five miles from Alexandria, on the Cheneyville road; his troops also are encamped at the same place. General Debray's command was moving west through Alexandria, destination unknown. Colonel Terrell's command has gone to Black River. Detachments of troops are engaged in hunting up deserters. Thomas' brigade of infantry is encamped on the river-bank opposite Alexandria. A large force of negroes is being collected at Alexandria to work on fortifications, drive teams, &c. Large inducements are held out to the negroes if they will consent to fight, but they are unfavorably received by them. There is but one fort near Alexandria, which mounts twelve heavy guns. The guns are not yet in position, but the work is rapidly approaching completion. The Crescent Battery is at Alexandria. One heavy battery, called the Bell Battery, is also stationed there. The number of guns and strength of companies are unknown. These have been before reported. The Second and Fourth Louisiana were picketing the river from Simsport to Lyon's Ferry. As late as the 15th of December the impression was conveyed to the enlisted men of the rebel army that George B. McClellan was elected President. Great dissatisfaction exists among the rebel troops, who state that if Mr. Lincoln was re-elected they would lay down their arms.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
FRANK W. MARSTON,
Major and Chief Signal Officer, Mil. Div. of West Mississippi.