War of the Rebellion: Serial 011 Page 0455 Chapter XXII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE WEST,

Memphis, Tenn., April 27, 1862.

Captain JOHNSON,

Memphis:

SIR: You will proceed in the steamer furnished for the purpose by the quartermaster along the Mississippi River. You will inform the planters on its banks that the river is now open to the enemy, and that the interests of our country demand that they shall at once destroy all of their cotton. No time is to be lost in the execution of this duty. Should any hesitate or fail to comply with your call upon them, you will yourself take possession of and burn the cotton, taking care to injure no other property.

It is made your duty to see that all of the cotton within reach of the river is destroyed at once. The proprietors will take an account of the amount destroyed, as you will of all which you may have to destroy yourself. These orders are given to you by General Van Dorn under instructions from General Beauregard.

In executing the above orders you will go as far up and down the Mississippi as the gunboats of the enemy will allow; and in the event of your being pursued by them, if you cannot run your boat into a place of security from them, you must, on abandoning, destroy her, to prevent the enemy from getting possession of her.

Very respectfully, yours,

DABNEY H. MAURY,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

(Copies to Lieutenant Hill, Captain Lyles, Captain Clendening, Memphis.)

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE WEST,

Memphis, Tenn., April 27, 1862.

Brig. General ALBERT RUST:

GENERAL: The general commanding desires that you will move your command to Corinth to-morrow evening.

Very respectfully, yours,

DABNEY H. MAURY,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS,

Bethel, Tenn., April 27, 1862.

[Major GEORGE WILLIAMSON,

Assistant Adjutant-General:]

MAJOR:I have the honor herewith to forward the report of Lieutenant-Colonel Brewer, commanding battalion Mississippi and Alabama cavalry, stationed near Purdy, of a movement of the enemy in force on the morning of the 25th instant against his camp.

I had reliable information during the night preceding of their design, and directed him to hold his position as long as possible, and if compelled to retire, to do so slowly, and fighting,and upon my position. By this course I am convinced the enemy was deceived as to my strength-reduced 300, sent out as working party.

I have heretofore called your attention to the alarming amount of