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28 Series I Volume XXXIV-IV Serial 64 - Red River Campaign Part IV


the guards and directed such a system of patrols of every practicable approach as will enable us to rally sufficient force for its protection at the point attacked, if the attempt shall be made by any moderate force. While at Brashear, Mrs. Porter, who I believe is known at headquarters, arrived on the A. G. Brown. She reports one large company at Patterson, four ditto at La Ponches plantation, 7 miles beyond Patterson, two companies between Brashear and Patterson, also Vincent's scouts at Pattersonville. Bush at Franklin with his regiment. A regiment on the march from Opelousas and expected at Franklin last night, and that their intention was to take the Bay, when they should be in sufficient force.

I shall try to keep posted in their numbers and movements, but am at a great loss for reliable scouts and spies. Can you send me some from New Orleans? My greatest need is cavalry. The regiment and battalion promised should be forwarded without delay. I could have bagged everything this side of Franklin by a dash last night, if I had been provided with a dashing regiment of cavalry. Captain Washburne, from whom I have received cordial co-operation, will send a boat into Lake Palourde each day.

I would respectfully state, as matter of opinion, that with an additional naval force in the bay, and as a heavier armament of the works at Brashear and Berwick, these points may be held against any force the enemy is likely to bring, against them. The demonstrations against Brashear may be, and probably are, intended as a feint, and Napoleonville and La Fourche Crossing be the objective point. In this view of the matter I would ask for another battery and an additional regiment of infantry, the latter to be divided between these places.

A section of 12-pounder mountain howitzers would be very serviceable to my scouting parties. They are simple, easily handled, and can be taken wherever cavalry can go. I have found them a most useful and effective arm in this kind of service. I inclose you circular taken on a prisoner brought into Brashear.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding District of La Fourche.



In the Field, May 18, 1864.

To the People of Saint Landry, Calcasieu, Vermillion, La Fayette, Saint Martin, and Saint Mary's:

Having rid the country of the enemy, the major-general commanding is determined likewise to clear it of jayhawkers and deserters, and that too with very little delay or hesitation. Therefore persons who owe military service to the Confederate States, and are not now in the army, are hereby ordered and directed to come forward and join the Louisiana infantry regiments on duty in the State, on or before the 1st day of June, 1864; otherwise they will be considered and treated as jayhawkers and shot down on sight.

By order of Major General R. Taylor:


Colonel Fourth Louisiana Cavalry.