Blankely, Tensas Landing, and Selma. General Steele's command being very short of rations and forage, and not knowing whether it will be possible to provide for him in time from Mobile Bay, I will start the steamer Matamoras at daybreak with five days' supplies and endeavor to get her over the Escambia Bar. If successful in crossing the bar, the steamer will proceed to Bluff Springs Landing, four miles this side the Escambia bridge. I will inform General Steele accordingly, and in case the railroad should be in our possession the steamer can ascend to Pollard and the supplies be sent by rail to any point on the railroad required.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
[Inclosure Numbers 1.] HDQRS. U. S. FORCES OPERATING FROM PENSACOLA BAY, Camp near Big Escambia Bridge, March 27, 1865.
Brigadier General ALEX. ASBOTH,
Commanding District of West Florida:
GENERAL: We have not met the enemy in a large force thus far. Lucas encountered General Clanton's brigade, consisting of the Sixth and Eighth Alabama Regiments Cavalry, on the 25th, near this place. He attacked them fiercely and rode over their lines, capturing General Clanton and 118 other prisoners. Clanton is very dangerously wounded. His entire force is scattered through the woods and swamps. General Andrews, with a brigade of infantry, occupied Pollard yesterday. Spurling joined us last night. He cut the railroad at Evergreen, capturing 2 trains and 120 prisoners. The enemy has been scattered to the four winds. There is no organized force of any size in this part of the country. It is supposed that the stragglers that have escaped are making the best of their way to Mobile. A squadron of cavalry can go anywhere in this section with impunity. Our successes result thus far as follows: One brigadier-general, 22 regimental officers, and 220 enlisted men captured. About 400 horses have been taken and a large number of small-arms. We are very short of forage and rations, and there is very little of either in the country. We shall now proceed to complete the programme as laid out by the major-general commanding. If he can send rations and forage to any point where we can get them it will be of much assistance to us. If you can do so, General Steele requests that you will communicate the information contained in this letter to the major-general commanding.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN F. LACEY,
P. S.-General Clanton is going to die. We will leave him here.
[Inclosure Numbers 2.] Statement of A. r. Evans, railroad conductor between Pollard and Tensas Landing.
MARCH 28, 1865.
Left Tensas Landing Sunday morning. It was stated at that time that General Liddell, commanding at Blakely, was to be attacked every moment, and was very sanguine of his ability to check the Federals. A portion of the machinery from the Tensas machine-shops