having passed up toward Alexandria only about two weeks before. The situation at Alexandria was not changed, Brigadier-General Thomas commanding the fortifications, and the cavalry force of four regiments, commanded by Brigadier General J. L. Brent, formerly a lawyer of Los Angeles, Cal. I learned that three divisions (Major's Parsons', and another division, whose commander I have forgotten) left Shreveport some four or five weeks ago for Texas, to be ready to repel any attack that might be made on the Texas coast. There was no indication of any movement of troops toward the Mississippi River whatever. There was an intention of passing troops to the east side of the Mississippi, but the men utterly refused to go, and it seems the design was abandoned. The demoralization of the army has extended to the officers. Several officers of the Second Louisiana Cavalry are in close confinement for attempting to desert to the enemy, among whom are Captain Morel and one of his lieutenant. Captain Prescott, of the same Regiment, commanding at Washington, says if the army falls back into Texas he will surrender himself to the Yankees. I found the country so rigidly policed that it was impossible for any person to pass through it without submitting to the closest scrutiny, and my means of acquiring information at Washington, being good, and not considering it necessary to go farther, I started on my return on the 9th and arrived at Morganza on the 11th and reported to Brigadier-General McKean. My facilities for getting information at Washington are these: A courier arrived daily form Alexandria; a Mr. Fitz, a New Yorker, who lives at Washington, gets all of the news from them and it is then furnished me. I have several other sources of information, all of which is perfectly reliable.
P. S. -I have become thoroughly known to the authorities and have had my description sent over the country, which renders it out of the question for me to go through that country. I had this information at Morganza from a Mr. Lewellyn, living on the Atchafalaya. Captain Piskens, who deserted his command at Simsport, had my description and order to look out for me. I can go to Washington at any time, and can get such information as can be collected by my agents, if thought necessary.
HEADQUARTERS SOUTHERN DIVISION OF LOUISIANA,
New Orleans, April 13, 1865.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Gulf:
The commanding general is probably aware that there is quite a large force encamped about New Orleans not reporting to these headquarters. Depredations, assaults, and even murders are being committed on the highways outside the city, whether by soldiers or citizens no information has been received. The roads and avenues are patrolled by our guards as much as practicable, but the specs to be observed is too large for the troops disposable, all of which are foot troops. To put a stop to these irregularities, I have the honor to ask for the services of a squadron of cavalry, at least until the troops and teamsters around the city awaiting transportation are sent away.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. W. SHERMAN,