themselves or with others. A departure from this military precaution may defeat the best laid plans for effective blows at our enemy, and the commanding general must earnestly impress on all the strictest observance of these orders.
III. The attention of district and subordinate commanders is earnestly invoked to the great importance of a speedy transmission and promulgation to the troops under their command of all orders issued and published for their guidance, as serious embarrassment and inconvenience are likely to ensue in consequence of delay and neglect in this particular.
IV. All official letters or papers transmitted to or through these headquarters, if on letter paper, will be folded in three and, on foolscap, in four equal folds parallel with the writing. They will be neatly indorsed, beginning near the top of the first fold with the place, date of writing, name of writer, and rank or grade in the service, with a brief summary of the contents or character of the paper. These will be immediately followed by the remarks of the commanders through whom the papers necessarily pass to these headquarters, and in each of these last specified indorsements the date will be given.
V. The special attention of the troops in this department is invited to General Orders, Numbers 3, and paragraph VI, General Orders, Numbers 28, Adjutant and Inspector-General's Office, series 1863.
By order of General Beauregard:
John M. OTEY,
CHESTER, May 26, 1864--10.05 a. m.
General BRAXTON BRAGG:
Captain Palmer, commanding river battery, reports as follows:
Much activity in the bend of the river last night among the fleet, and about daylight this morning two out of three monitors dropped down the river and are not to be seen up to this time--8 a. m. My sentinels also think that they were accompanied by other vessels. One monitor, one tug, and four transports still remain.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES CONFEDERATE STATES,
May 26, 1864.
Respectfully referred to General Ransom.
Order a cavalry reconnaissance on this side the river, drive in enemy's pickets, develop their intentions as far as practicable, and try to get an accurate and early report.
By direction of General Bragg:
JOHN B. SALE,
Colonel and Military Secretary.
WILMINGTON, May 26, 1864.
General B. BRAGG,
Colonel Ripley, Yankee, is reported on White Oak River as having sent back to Beaufort for additional force for raid. Will probably
61 R R--VOL LI, PT II