War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0719 Chapter XXI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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HDQRS. TRANS-MISS. DEPT. SOUTH OF RED RIVER,

Houston, June 18, 1862.

General R. E. LEE, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge at the hands of Major Bryan your dispatches bearing date May 28.

Being informed that Major-General Hindman, who ranks me, was in command of the "Trans-Mississippi Department north of Red River," I have assumed command until further orders of the district south of this river.

Such troops as can be equipped and armed I am and have been for some time forwarding toward Little Rock.

The great difficulty, almost an impossibility, is in getting arms; men we can command.

We have now several regiments, both of cavalry and infantry, entirely unarmed. Even when shot-guns are obtained there is a difficulty in preparing suitable ammunition for such a variety of calibers.

I have ordered buck-shot to be made, the men to prepare their own ammunition. All possible means are used to collect and repair such arms as may be found in the country.

I had to some extent anticipated your instructions in regard to Western Louisiana, by ordering a battalion of mounted men to New Iberia, on the Teche.

I would respectfully advise the dismounting of nearly all the troops west of the Mississippi.

There is an excess of cavalry, badly mounted and worse armed. As infantry, if not more efficient, would at least be less expensive.

Captain Davis, my assistant adjutant-general, the bearer of this communication, may give you valuable information in regard to the troops, equipments, armaments, means of transportation, &c.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

P. O. HEBERT,

Brigadier-General, Provisional Army.

[Inclosure.]

GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. TRANS-MISS. DISTRICT. SOUTH OF RED RIVER Numbers 1.

Houston, Tex., June 18, 1862.

In virtue of instructions from General Headquarters at Richmond, bearing date May 28, 1862, I assume command of the district comprising the State of Texas and all that portion of the State of Louisiana west of the Mississippi River and south of Red River, and of all the posts, camps, and troops within the limits of the district.

P. O. HEBERT,

Brigadier-General, Provisional Army.

FORT FILLMORE, June 26, 1862.

General H. H. SIBLEY:

GENERAL: I inclose herewith some dispatches taken from one of Carleton's expresses.* You will see from them that my stay here must be very short. Canby has already crossed his forces to the east side of the river, and the rains having already commenced, he will in a few

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*Not found.

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