reach has been taken up and the transportation ordered by you from New York comes in very slowly. With the exception of a garrison of 1,200 men at Brazos Santiago, I have ordered the withdrawal of the troops from Texas. I will adopt the line from Little Rock to Devall's Bluff and thence to the mouth of White River as the line to be held in Arkansas. This will give General Steele for offensive purposes the 4,000 men now at Pine Bluff. As previously reported, I design reorganizing the Nineteenth Corps upon the nucleus of the Third Division. I can make it up to 20,000 in the course of twenty days. This reserve is necessary. I have authorized the enlistment of colored recruits from the plantations in this department. These men will be taken for garrison purposes and the number taken from each plantation so limited as to interfere as little as possible with its cultivation.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. R. S. CANBY,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF SIGNAL OFFICER,
New Orleans, La., July 22, 1864.
Major General E. R. S. CANBY,
Commanding Military Division of West Mississippi:
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit to your consideration a report of the information received at this office this 22nd day of July, 1864, from the following sources: A paper from Brigadier General N. B. Beaufort, commanding District of Eastern Arkansas, dated July 16, 1864; a paper from John M. Smylie, Natchez, Miss., July 1, 1864. The rebels had crossed 1,500 rifles and a large quantity of ammunition over the Mississippi at Buck Island, fifty-five miles above Helena, Ark., for the use of Shelby's command. The force sent in pursuit of the enemy were obliged to retire from Saint Francis River on account of superior force of the enemy. Shelby was increasing his force by conscription. The communications with Little Rock were cut again. Mr. Smylie reports a vigorous conscription going on in Mississippi, taking persons from the age of sixteen to sixty. General Wirt Adams expects an attack from Vicksburg. Colonel Hamilton's regiment is at Woodville, and that is all the force in the District of Southwest Mississippi and East Louisiana. An attack was expected on Mobile and fully prepared for by the enemy.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ALBERT J. MYER,
Colonel, Signal Corps, U. S. Army.
HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF WEST MISS., No. 75. New Orleans, La., July 22, 1864.
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II. So much of Special Orders, No. 63, current series, from these headquarters, as directs Captain H. W. Closson, First U. S. Artillery, "to take command of his company, now awaiting transportation to New York," is hereby revoked. Captain Closson will report without delay to Major General Gordon Granger, U. S. Volunteers, for duty.
III. Brigadier General F. S. Nickerson, U. S. Volunteers, and Captain J. H. Metcalf, assistant adjutant-general of volunteers, are hereby relieved