Washington, La., June 3, 1865.
Captain B. B. CAMPBELL,
Assistant Adjutant-General, La Fourche District:
SIR: I inclose herewith a copy of an order issued from headquarters Hays' division (Confederate), which has come to my notice. Some 200 officers and men have returned to their homes in the vicinity of this post by virtue of this order, each bearing a copy of the order, and many of them having their arms with them. A great many of the deserters referred to in the order are also at their homes in this vicinity with arms in their hands. I desire to be informed what action I am to take in regard to these two classes of persons and the mode of procedure in each case. Another class, not so numerous as the two named, is of officers and men of Lee's, Johnston's, and Taylor's armies who were absent from their commands at the time those commands were surrendered, and are now here. What am I to do in the case of these persons? If any orders have been issued covering these cases I desire to be furnished with copies.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN L. RICE,
Lieutenant Colonel Seventy-fifth U. S. Colored Infantry, Commanding Post.
HDQRS. HAYS' DIV., BUCKNER'S CORPS,
ARMY OF WEST LOUISIANA, Numbers 13.
Camp near Mansfield, May 19, 1865.
The major portion of this command having deserted camp and gone to their homes, all the Government animals and most of the wagons having been forcibly taken possession of and carried away, the quartermaster's and commissary departments of this command and the post at Mansfield having been pillaged by the troops, all completely paralyzing the present military organizations, and rendering the maintaining of discipline and the subsistence of the troops longer impossible, brigade commanders are hereby authorized to disband the troops under their commands and to permit them to proceed to their homes, there to await further orders from their commanding officers.
By order of Colonel R. Richardson, commanding Hays' division:
J. G. CLARKE,
HEADQUARTERS NORTHERN DIVISION OF LOUISIANA,
Alexandria, La., June 3, 1865.
Major General N. P. BANKS,
New Orleans, La.:
GENERAL: Your order directing me to change the headquarters Northern Division of Louisiana to Shreveport reached me on the evening of the 30th ultimo. On the 31st, after issuing the inclosed order* regulating my former command on the east side of the Mississippi, and also preparing the regiments designated for Red River, I left Baton Rouge to confer with Lieutenant-Commander Fitzhugh, U. S. Navy, as to co-operation of the navy in moving to this point. Remaining one day at the mouth of Red River waiting for General Dennis' division,
*See Special Orders, Numbers 100, p. 654.