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[444] in person of the expedition against Banks' army, opposite Port Hudson, or, if the enemy attempt to cross below Vicksburg, of the forces in Madison parish. My experience of the past few weeks satisfies me that it is necessary that I should rely upon myself not only to devise the plans, but also to execute them, in order to insure their being carried out vigorously.

On my arrival here I received several reports from Brigadier-General Monton (the substance of which have been communicated to you by Major Sarget), which are exceedingly unsatisfactory, and indicate that no movements commensurate with the forces under his command have been made, and that little activity has been displayed by that officer. While an excellent officer in the field, of great gallantry and fair qualifications, he is, I fear, unequal to the task of handling and disposing of any large body of troops; and I shall, therefore, at the earliest practicable moment, give my personal supervision to that command. From General Monton's reports I am quite in the dark as to the condition of affairs on the lower Teche, and as to the presence or absence of the enemy's troops on this side of Berwick's bay.

I have sent one of my staff officers to communicate in person with General Johnston, and instructed him to give to that officer a statement of the disposition of our forces, and ascertain in what manner I could best co-operate with him from this side of the river.

I have to-day sent a battery of light artillery to Brigadier-General Hebert, which will place twelve pieces in the command of that officer. I do not include the artillery of General Walker's division.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. Taylor, Major-General Commanding.

The foregoing letter bears the following endorsements, to wit:

headquarters Western Louisiana, Alexandria, June 11, 1863.
Major-General R. Taylor, Informing as to his movements and dispositions of forces.

Secretary of War. Special.

This report contains a clear statement of the expedition against Milliken's bend, by General Taylor, which awakened so much hope and which is here shown to have been abortive.

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