Surg. John M. Haden, medical director.
Surg. S. A. Smith, medical director of department hospitals.
By command of Lieutenant General E. Kirby Smith:
J. F. BELTON,
PORT HUDSON, April 21, 1863.
No change in affairs here reported. it is authentic that General Taylor has retreated to Vermillionville and the advance of the enemy occupy New Iberia. Queen of the West and the Diana destroyed; also reported the Hart destroyed.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI,
Alexandria, La., April 21, 1863.
Commanding, &c., Houston, Tex.:
GENERAL: Colonel Major, of the Confederate States Army, has been ordered to Niblett's Bluff to collect the stragglers and deserters from General Taylor's army. The lieutenant-general commanding desires that you will send him subsistence for such men as he may gather. It is reported that large numbers of men are making their way into Texas.
General Smith directs that you will use all the means in your power and call upon the civil authorities to assist in collecting these men and to rendezvous them at Niblett's Bluff.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. R. BOGGS,
Brigadier-General, Chief of Staff.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF MISSISSIPPI AND EAST LOUISIANA,
Jackson, April 22, 1863.
Lieutenant General E. KIRBY SMITH,
Commanding Trans-Mississippi, Alexandria:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of 15th instant, which came to hand to-day, and in reply to state that I addressed you telegrams on the 17th and 18th instant, sending them through the agent at Natchez, informing you of my inability, on account of want of transportation and the presence of the enemy's gunboats in the river, to operate on the other side of the Mississippi, and asking therefore your action and co-operation there opposite Grand Gulf, near New Carthage. I regret very much the necessity General Taylor was under of retreating before overwhelming numbers, but am utterly unable to assist him, as the enemy have again occupied Baton Rouge in strong force and have, moreover, eleven gunboats between Vicksburg and Port Hudson, which not only effectually prevent the shipment of supplies across the river, but are almost able to stop communication between the two departments. I have been compelled to