temporary depot there be broken up. One of my best light-draft steamers, the Tampico, laden with grain, was sent into Fish River before the army moved from there, and has been retained at that point with most of the forage on board, I presume to assist in removing the bridge. Eleven hundred cavalry started for the front by land from Navy Cove at daybreak on the 29th. After they shall have crossed the bridge there would seem to be no further necessity for it. The rest of the cavalry and that which arrives can be sent by river steamers to Starke's Wharf, even if it arrives here in sea-going, heavy-draft vessels.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. G. SAWTELLE,
Lieutenant Colonel and Chief Quartermaster, Mil. Div. of West Mississippi.
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI, OFFICE OF THE CHIEF SIGNAL OFFICER, New Orleans, La., March 31, 1865.
Major General S. A. HURLBUT,
Commanding Department of the Gulf:
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit for your information the following extracts from the daily report from this office, dated March 31, 1865: Several deserters from Confederate forces make the same statements in regard to Forrest and his command. He is still at Macon or in the vicinity, his troops being concentrated along the line of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. There are very few troops at Jackson under Wirt Adams. Forrest is making no demonstrations either in the direction of Mobile or to attack any of our posts on the Mississippi. The former reports are confirmed that he is waiting to meet an expected raid from some point on the Mississippi or from Tennessee. Men who came from Selma, Ala., on the 17th and 18th instant report that the fortifications at that place are extensive but out of repair, with three small regiments as a garrison. The operatives in the machine-shops and other Government works are organized and drilled, thus increasing the force by about 1,500 men. A very large quantity of ordnance and ordnance stores are stored there, and the machine-shops are kept working day and night. There are about 75,000 bales of cotton stored in Selma. The informants state that they know that many heavy guns have been removed from Mobile to Choctaw Bluff, on the Alabama River. The garrison of Mobile is estimated at from 12,000 to 15, 000 men. Captain Collins, Confederate scout, was in Shreveport and Alexandria about ten days since, and stated to a gentleman in whom he has confidence that General Smith was about to send General Parsons with his division to Brazos River, Tex. The rebel authorities at Shreveport expect Mobile to fall soon, and believe the next move will be to land a force near the mouth of Brazos River to attack Galveston and march into the interior of the State. Collins represents the troops at Shreveport as very well contented, but those at Natchitoches as very much demoralized. There have been no late changes in the position of the latter troops. The high water has destroyed one of the forts at Alexandria.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. M. JACKSON,
Major, Tenth U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery.
(In absence of Captain S. M. Eaton, chief signal officer, Military Division of West Mississippi.)
(Same to Lieutenant Colonel C. T. Christensen.)