Notes - Annual report of the Secretary of War: Volume 1 



Private, United States Cavalry Regiment



Headquarters District Of Louisiana,

New Orleans, Louisiana, October 1, 1868.

General : Pursuant to letter of instructions from headquarters department of Louisiana, dated October 7, 1868, calling for a report of the military operations in this district during the past year, I have the honor to submit the following :

The limits of the command on the first of October, 1867, (date of closing of last report,) embraced the State of Louisiana, the counties of Harrison, Marion, Cass, and Bowie, Texas, and Ship island, Mississippi, commanded by Brevet .Major General Joseph A. Mower, colonel 31th infantry, with headquarters in New Orleans, having under him the 1st infantry, 20th infantry, 39th infantry, battery K 1st artillery, and two companies of the 4th cavalry, (temporarily assigned in the district,) stationed as follows:

Headquarters and seven companies 1st infantry, company K 1st artillery, (light,) Jackson barracks.

Two companies 1st infantry, headquarters, and two companies 39th infantry, New Orleans, Louisiana.

One company 1st infantry, Amite, Louisiana.

Headquarters and three companies 20th infantry, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Three companies 20th infantry, Shreveport, Louisiana.

The limits of this post extended to Marshall and Jefferson, Texas, at which points were stationed one of each of the above companies:

One company 20th infantry, Alexandria, Louisiana.

Two companies 20th infantry, Monroe, Louisiana.

One company 20th infantry, Vidalia, Louisiana.

Two companies 39th infantry, Forts Jackson and St. Philip, Louisiana.

Three companies 39th infantry, Ship island, Mississippi.

One company 39th infantry, Fort Pike, Louisiana.

One company 39th infantry, New Iberia, Louisiana.

One company 39th infantry, Houma, Louisiana.

One company 4th cavalry, Opelousas, Louisiana.

One company 4th cavalry, Sparta and Homer, Louisiana—making an aggregate of 99 commissioned officers and 1,953 enlisted men.

Under instructions from these headquarters detachments of troops from the above stations were yet at most of the parish seats of justice, where they had been ordered to protect the boards of registration, and to assist in preserving the peace of the election on the 27th .and 28th of September, as provided for in order from the fifth military district.

The following movement of troops and events occurred during 1867 :


November 18.—Company E, 4th cavalry, stationed at Opelousas, Louisiana, was ordered to Monroe, Louisiana, to relieve the infantry garrison of that post; and the same day company I, 4th cavalry, was directed to proceed from Grand Ecore, Louisiana, to Jefferson, Texas, to relieve company D, 20th infantry; which latter company was drawn into the main post of Shreveport, Louisiana. Jefferson, Texas, was also established as an independent post, under command of the cavalry commandant, with a detachment at Bakon, Bowie county, Texas.


December 3, 1867,—Major General Hancock, United States army, commanding fifth military district, relieved Brevet Major General Mower from the command of the district of Louisiana, and assigned Lieutenant Colonel Wood, 1st infantry, to that command; and also to duty as assistant commissioner Bureau Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands. General Mower, on being relieved, was directed to wait further orders


December 23.—That portion of eastern Texas, comprising the counties of Harrison, Marion, Cass, and Bowie, heretofore forming a part of the district of Louisiana, was transferred to the district of Texas, and company C, 20th infantry, withdrawn from Marshall, Texas, en route to Baton Rogue, Louisiana. No further changes or movement of the troops took place during the year 1867.


January2,1868.—In compliance with instructions from the War Department, and orders from headquarters fifth military district of that date, I assumed command of the district of Louisiana and charge of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, as assistant commissioner, relieving Lieutenant Colonel Wood, 1st infantry, of those duties.


Upon assuming command I found that, owing to the almost total failure of the crops of the previous season, the peculiar political state of feeling growing out of the anticipated action of the constitutional convention, and the elections to be held under its provisions, the colored people were abandoning the interior parishes, and flocking to those bordering on the river, where their presence was exciting much uneasiness among the planters. Owing to the disproportion of the forces at my disposal to the extent of territory to be guarded, I found it impossible to wholly comply with the constant application for troops.


March 16.—Under instructions from the War Department, Major General Hancock was ordered to Washington, when Brevet Major General J. J. Reynolds, commanding district of Texas, being on duty with his brevet rank of major general, was assigned by General Hancock to command the fifth military district, March 16, 1868. On the 25th of March, Brevet Major General Buchanan, having been assigned to duty with his brevet rank of major general, and being the senior officer on duty, assumed command of the fifth military district, retaining command of the district of Louisiana at the same time.


On the 7th, the commanding general fifth military district ordered company I, 4th cavalry, to proceed from Jefferson, Texas, to Fort Jessup, Louisiana, for duty in this district. Owing to the sudden death of First Lieutenant I. Allinan, 4th cavalry, at Jefferson, Texas, and the absence on special duty of its captain, that company was left without an officer, and Brevet Major B. T. Hutchins, captain 6th cavalry, was on the 8th ordered from fifth military district to report to these headquarters for duty with that company during the absence of General McLaughlin, and was immediately ordered to proceed to Jefferson, Texas, with instructions to march it into this district, taking care to arrive at Mansfield, De Soto parish, by the 17th or 18th of April.

Annual report of the Secretary of War: Volume 1


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