deepened each way from this ridge. The tide was not as full as it generally is after a strong southerly wind or a blow from that quarter, but there was more water than there is ordinarily. I will send a boat in again this evening, as, probably, if this wind continues, there will be more water still. Nine refugees, one a deserter from the Second Louisiana Heavy Artillery, came off the Sciota last night. They bring but little news, having lost the newspapers they had. They state that General Cheatham, with his division, is at Pollard; that General Gibon, with about 4,000 of the Tennessee army, is at Mobile, and in addition about the same number of militia; that there are few troops on the eastern shore, only pickets; that General Gibson has command at Mobile, under Maury; that the remnants of the Tennessee (Hood's) army had gone to Montgomery; that the number killed and wounded in the battles in Tennessee amounted to 15,000 men. This state that the Mobile and Ohio Railroad is opened again as far as West Point, and the Montgomery road to that place. One of the refugees, a very intelligent mulatto, thinks that Hood's army did not stop at Montgomery, but proceeded to Augusta. He thinks that there are no troops on the eastern shore but Colonel Maury's command; McCulloch and his command, some 2,500 me, being upon the Mobile and Ohio Railroad at Citronelle, thirty-two miles from Mobile. One of the refugees says that a torpedo boat was launched at Mobile the day before yesterday. From his description I judge it to be one similar to that upon the eastern shore. He says also that the torpedo battery, the heavy wooden frame-work with torpedoes attached, has been placed in the Spanish River, but I thing it doubtful if it would be put in a channel way that is so much used by the rebel gun-boats. I send down the Ida. She requires one or two smooth-bore howitzers and a supply of small-arms if she is to be employed upon picket duty. The Sciota has coal four or five days only. These men say that the rebels are building a water battery at Choctaw Point. The deserter reports also that the line of works outside of Mobile is unfinished and there are few guns mounted upon it.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. W. LOW,
SPECIAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DISTRICT OF WEST FLORIDA, 35. Barrancas, February 16, 1865.
I. The Ninety-seventh Regiment U. S. Colored Infantry having been ordered by Special orders, 97, section 2, headquarters District of West Florida and South Alabama, dated Fort Gaines, Ala.,
February 15, 1865, from Barrancas to Dauphin Island, will embark at once on the steamer Alabama and proceed to Fort Gaines with the utmost dispatch, taking with them all camp and garrison equipage but turn in to Captain B. F. Porter, assistant quartermaster, all wagons, ambulances, and publish animals.
* * * *
By command of Brigadier-General Asboth:
J. WM. HAIGHT, JR.,
First Lieutenant and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.