Today in History:

9 Series I Volume XXXIV-III Serial 63 - Red River Campaign Part III


1 white man, many negroes, and about 100 mules carried off. The area of these operations is about 20 miles long and 5 miles wide. The lakes, swamps, bayous, and canebrakes made it impossible to guard the district.

Last night the largest haul was made, and to-day I have five parties watching the outlets, as I believe the mules and the robbers are still in the canebrakes, which are surrounded by the marshes and lakes. While I am zealously attempting to protect the lessees I have deprived myself of nearly all my cavalry. My whole white force is 300 cavalry and 231 infantry. How can I get more? I have repeatedly applied for them. I have built the second fort, with a block-house, 11 miles below here. It is my design to try to afford protection by carrying out the spirit of the following orders:

In the Field, Chattanooga, Tenn., November 5, 1863.

The habit of raiding parties of rebel cavalry visiting towns, villages, and farms where there are no Federal forces, and pillaging Union families, having become prevalent, department commanders will take immediate steps to abate the evil, or make the loss by such raids fall upon secessionists and secession sympathizers of the neighborhood where such acts are committed. For every act of violence to the person of an unarmed Union citizen, a secessionist will be arrested and held as hostage for the delivery of the offender.

For every dollar's worth of property taken from such citizens or destroyed by raiders an assessment will be made upon secessionists of the neighborhood and collected by the nearest military forces, under the supervision of the commander thereof, and the amount thus collected paid over to the sufferers.

When such assessments cannot be collected in money, property useful to the Government may be taken at a fair valuation, and the amount paid in money by a disbursing officer of the Government, who will take such property up on his returns. Wealthy secession citizens will be assessed in money and provisions for the support of Union refugees who have and may be driven from their homes and into our lines by the acts of those with whom such secession citizens are in sympathy.

All collections and payments under this order will be through disbursing officers of the Government, whose accounts must show all money and property received under it, and how diposed of.

By order of Major General U. S. Grant:


Assistant Adjutant-General.

But I suggest to you that you issue a War Department order modifying it. I have no order to carry this one out by my department commander. Let district commanders be authorized to capture property from rebels, and, after having appointed a board of officers to determine the amount and kind of losses by the lessees, let them receive equivalents in the same kind of property, horses, mules, harness, wagons, &c. If the lessees get money according to the above order it will take so long to get the mules, &c., they have lost that they will fail in making a cotton crop. I have given the public to understand that if he lessees cannot raise cotton neither can the rebels. I do not intend to make any raid until I can do it to some purpose.

I hope for an early reply.

Your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.