War of the Rebellion: Serial 102 Page 0019 Chapter LX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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plantation. The object of the expedition is to capture or destroy a gang of Whitaker's men, said to be infesting that section of country. The commanding officer of Brasher City has been directed to send you seventy-five men for the expedition. The boat should remain up there about five days, or until the small boats arrive, unless other orders are received. The general requests that the object and destination be considered confidential by you until the boat is ready to start. Please acknowledge receipt.

I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS LA FOURCHE DISTRICT, Thibodeaux, La., April 3, 1865.


Brasher City, La.:

The general commanding directs that your order two officers and seventy-five men from your command to report to Captain Leonard, commanding naval forces at Brasher City, La., early on Tuesday morning, April 4, 1865. They will be instructed to take eight days' rations and sixty rounds of ammunition. After taking these men on board the gun-boat will at once proceed to the head of Bayou Pigeon, where it will remain for eight days, unless otherwise ordered or until the arrival of the detachment from Bayou Boeuf, when it will return. The object of the expedition is to co-operate a force sent out from Bayou Boeuf in small boats for the purpose of capturing a portion of Whitaker's gang, said to be in that country. The object and destination of this expedition will be considered confidential, and not given to the officer in command of the detachment till his command is ready to embark. You will direct this officer's attention to General Orders, No. 45, series of 1864, from headquarters Defenses of New Orleans, in regard to straggling and plundering. Immediately on the return of the expedition you will cause a full and complete report to be made out and forwarded to these headquarters.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.

NATCHEZ, MISS., April 3, 1865.

General E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant-General, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: During the course of my inspections in this department I have found a great deficiency of commissioned officers serving with the troops. In one Regiment there was but one commissioned officer present at inspection; in another Regiment for companies were without a commissioned officer, and it has been seldom that I have found more than one officer with a company. This scarcity of officers has been mainly owing to the fact that large details have been made from the line for special and detached service, such as upon the staffs of general officers, upon courts-martial and military commissions, and to fill various offices connected with the administration of the municipal affairs of towns. The Department of the Mississippi as at present defined only includes the