War of the Rebellion: Serial 102 Page 0518 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LX.

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Baton Rouge, La., May 20, 1865.

Major General P. J. OSTERHAUS,

Chief of Staff, Military Division of West Mississippi:

GENERAL: In reply to your communication of the 17th instant, I have the honor to report that I have caused all the routes leading west from the mouth of Red River to Plaquemine to be thoroughly examined, and find that none of them are practicable for the passage of troops. The whole country is overflowed, and the water is from two to ten feet in depth and from five to twenty-five miles in width. The main road back from Morganza is entirely submerged. A man arrived at Morganza yesterday is a skiff, he having come down the road from Bayou Boeuf without seeing land.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.


Baton Rouge, La., May 20, 1865.

Lieutenant Colonel J. SCHUYLER CROSBY,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, New Orleans:

COLONEL: Your telegram of the 15th instant, directing an inspection of the military posts on the Mississippi River within the limits of my command, with a view to the reduction of their garrisons, has been received and the inspection made. On the 1st of May, 1865, the only military posts in my command were Morganza, Port Hudson, and Baton Rouge. The great rise in the Mississippi River compelled the abandonment of Morganza, the troops being moved to Bayou Sara, where they now are. The present location of the troops is as follows: One regiment U. S. colored infantry at Claiborne's plantation, Pointe Coupee Parish, west side of river; two regiments U. S. colored Infantry at Bayou Sara, under Colonel W. H. Dickey; one regiment U. S. colored infantry, one regiment U. S. colored cavalry, two four-gun field batteries (white), and one four-gun battery heavy artillery, at Port Hudson, under Brigadier-General Hamlin; four regiments of white cavalry, one regiment U. S. colored infantry, two field batteries, and three companies of heavy artillery at Baton Rouge. Owing to the high water no movement could possibly be made by the enemy on the west side of the river, and in the present condition of affairs none is to be feared. The regiment at Claiborne's plantation (the Ninety-second U. S. Colored Infantry) can be removed at any time. The garrison at Bayou Sarea can also be removed, no troops being needed there. For Port Hudson one regiment of the U. S. colored infantry and the company of heavy artillery now there will make a sufficient garrison. The two batteries and regiment of cavalry can be removed. For garrison at Baton Rouge I would recommend the retention of the three heavy artillery companies to care for the fort and public buildings; one regiment of U. S. colored infantry (the Sixty-fifth) for provost and other guard duty in the town, and one regiment of cavalry (the One hundred and eighteenth Illinois) for service in the country back. The other troops could be relieved at once. In addition to these troops I have the Seventh Kentucky Infantry, a small regiment, at Clinton, La. If desired I can make these