HDQRS. MIL. DIV OF WEST MISSISSIPPI, Numbers 48. New Orleans, La., February 17, 1865.
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4. The Ninety-seventh U. S. Colored Infantry is hereby relieved from duty at Barrancas, Fla., and will be sent to Fort Gaines, Ala., to report for orders to Major General Gordon Granger.
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By order of Major General E. R. S. Canby:
C. T. CHRISTENSEN,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.
WASHINGTON, February 17, 1865-11.10 a. m..
(Received 9.10 a. m. 24th.)
Major General E. R. CANBY:
Dispatch of 11th received. Requisition for troops on coast absorb all hay that can be transported from Northern ports by sea. Your supply must go down Mississippi and should be shipped from New Orleans to Molile and other Gulf ports. One cargo of about 450 tons will be dispatched to Mobile, which is all that can now be spared.
M. C. MEIGS,
Brevet Major-General and Quartermaster-General.
FORT GAINES, February 17, 1865.
GENERAL: Abundant evidence seems to be accumulating to prove that every effort will be made possible to defend Mobile. That one division from Stewart's corps from Tupelo has arrived, and is now on the east side of Mobile Bay at and in supporting distance of Blakely and Vessel Point, there is no doubt. The eastern bank from Great Point Clear up to the batteries on Blakely River is thickly picketed, and there are some few pieces of light artillery displayed whenever our reconnoitering boats approach the shore. The last reconnaissance by the navy found seven feet on Blakely Bar, hence the vigilance and precaution by the rebs on that side. However, I apprehend no difficulty in out generating them, capturing everything, or forcing a hasty evacuation. The only drawback is the interminable delay of A. J. Smith and our quartermasters in hurrying over the troops, batteries, &c., from New Orleans. Captain Palfrey goes over this evening and can explain many things of importance, especially the opening of the Pensacola Railroad.
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF WEST FLORIDA AND SOUTH ALABAMA, Numbers 19. Fort Gaines, Ala., February 17, 1865.
I. The Ninety-sixth and Ninety-seventh Regiments U. S. Colonel Infantry, engineer troops, will be subject to assignment to duty only