Today in History:

63 Series I Volume XLVIII-II Serial 102 - Powder River Expedition Part II


and efficiency proportionate to the number of men composing the garrison of that place. A garrison of that magnitude should furnish at least 600 men daily for work and at the same time keep up a vigilant system of pickets. The work is dragging with a slowness beyond all precedent. You are respectfully asked to give this matter immediate attention. There is a want of promptitude and activity on the part of the artillery in getting off their guns and manning them; the fuses and friction-primers are not kept dry enough-thy miss too frequently for efficient service in action; the gunners are not sufficiently drilled in handling the lanyard. The artillery is too deficient in the practice with shot and shell. The officers all say they are not allowed to practice. Can this be true? The commanding officer of the post cannot handle his command. The commanding officers of the regiments are equally deficient. General Sherman desired me to say that in organizations that have been in service the length of time these two regiments (Ninety-third and Ninety-eighth) have, he never saw so much ignorance and stupidity with regard to the simplest duties. For instance, the officers have no command over their men in line of battle; commands are neither given nor propagated; officers know not what to do in the fires. The duties of officers and men in the firings are the first to be learned. No infantry can be good for anything without this. A complete renovation is required in the system of duties at Brashear.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,


First Lieutenant and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

Thibodeaux, La., April 10, 1865.

Lieutenant P. J. MALONEY,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Southern Div. of La., New Orleans:

Inclosed I have the honor to hand you reports* from all the detachment commanders (except the one from the force sent out by Colonel Sypher form Plaquemine, which was to occupy The Park and prevent any escape by that route) commanding in the expedition sent out on the 3rd of this month under instructions from these headquarters, resulting in the capture of 1 first lieutenant, 15 privates, all the stolen stock, about - mules, and the complete defeat and route of Captain Whitaker's company. Whitaker was said to have started with sixty men, leaving a force to guard his boats. He reached McCall's plantation, about three miles above Donaldsonville, n the Mississippi, with forty-five men. Whitaker was so closely pursued himself that he only saved himself by abandoning his horse, throwing away his coat (which was captured), and swimming one of the bayous.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding District.

THIBODEAUX, April 10, 1865.

Colonel SAYLES,

Commanding Post Napoleonville:

SIR: The general commanding has learned from a reliable source that a party of recruits for the rebel army are going to cross Bayou La


* See Part I, p. 168.