War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0830 OPERATIONS IN W. FLA.,S.ALA.,S.MISS., AND LA. Chapter XVI.

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I do not want you to let an ounce of powder, any arms, or munitions of war escape you at any time. They are a matter of life and death to us, and scarcely any price is too much to pay till our people are armed, although, of course, I desire to save every dollar we can.

I inclose you a letter for General Hebert, which you will please forward by special express. I leave it open, that you may understand the policy of the Government.

Your obedient servant,


Secretary of War.



Richmond, Va., February 23, 1862.

Brigadier General P. O. HEBERT,

Galveston, Tex.:

SIR: Our recent disaster in Tennessee has greatly exposed our line of communication with the West, and the importance of this line is so great, that it must be held at any sacrifice. You are therefore instructed at once to send forward to Little Rock, there to report to Major General Earl Van Dorn, all the troops in your command, for the defense of the coast, except such as are necessary, to man your batteries.

No invasion of Texas is deemed probable, but if any occurs its effects must be hazarded, and our entire forces must be thrown towards the Mississippi, for the defense of that river and of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad.

I do not desire that you withdraw such troops as you may have on the Rio Grande or western frontier, but only the troops you may have gathered for defending the Gulf coast . If at any point where you have batteries you deem there is danger of losing the guns by the withdrawal of the land forces, you will remove the guns; but the troops are to be pushed forward with all possible rapidity to Little Rock by such routes as you deem best.

I am, your obedient servant,


Secretary of War.

NEW ORLEANS, February 26, 1862.

Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN:

Raising war troops is extremely difficult and slow. If Beauregard's need of re-enforcements be as great as we here consider it, and you will accept volunteers for that special service for a few months, I can send him relief immediately. Answer quickly,* and state shortest time.



New Orleans, La., February 26, 1862.


President of the Confederate States, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: This letter will be delivered to you by Mr. William Henderson, a citizen, of this place, and a gentleman of probity, integrity, and excellent


* Answered March 1, p.837.