cross to the south bank. They took arms and ammunition with them. I have ordered all the cavalry that I have in camp on south bank (six companies of Fifth Louisiana Cavalry) to take up the pursuit. From representations made to me I think the temper of the greater part of the troops of the garrisons is such as to forbid the belief that they can be relied on. Yesterday I directed Colonel King, commanding the forts, to institute the strictest inquiry into the disposition of his men and to separately converse with the company officers and reliable non-commissioned officers. I think the demoralization has reached such a point as to be beyond the control of the officers while the troops are in their present position, and think it would be advisable to change nearly the whole garrison. A portion of our exchanged prisoners returned this morning on the steamer Fletcher; among them were several men of the Webb, and they report the names of about twenty-five Missouri soldiers who declined to be exchanged and who took the oath of allegiance to the Federal Government. I forward no papers. The non-arrival of cars at Berwick Bay on 2nd prevented my scouts from receiving papers, but inclosed I send copy of dispatches from New Orleans Times, evening edition, of 2nd instant.
J. L. BRENT,
HEADQUARTERS FORCES FRONT LINES,
Alexandria, May 6, 1865.
Major F. C. HUME,
MAJOR: Lieutenant Collins, east of the Atchafalaya, reports an unsuccessful attempt on the part of the enemy on the night of the 2nd instant to capture himself and scouts. He lost no one, had no casualty; the enemy had one man wounded. On the 4th instant one gun-boat and transport were anchored near Mossy's Shell Bank in Indian Bend, on Grand Lake. A re-enforcement of 200 negroes had arrived at Berwick Bay. All else on the front was quiet by the reports of this morning.
J. L. BRENT,
[MAY 7, 1865. -For Thompson to Davis, in regard to surrender of Confederate forces, see Part I, p. 232.]
[MAY 9, 1865. -For E. Kirby Smith to Governors Allen, Reynolds, Murrah, and Flanagin, requesting the governor to assemble in conference, &c., see Part I, p. 189.]
HDQRS. TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT, No. 43. Shreveport, La., May 9, 1865.
I. In addition to his duties as commander of the District of Arkansas and West Louisiana, Lieutenant General S. B. Buckner is announced, until further orders, as chief of staff to the department commander. All communications for department headquarters will be addressed to Colonel S. S. Anderson, senior assistant adjutant-general.