War of the Rebellion: Serial 025 Page 0787 Chapter XXIX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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GENERAL ORDERS,

HDQRS. DEPT. OF MISS. AND EAST LA., Numbers 17.

Grenada, December 7, 1862.

I. By direction of the Secretary of War, hereafter this army will be denominated Army of the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana, to consist of two corps, designated First and Second Corps, and will be commanded respectively by Major General Earl Van Dorn and Major General S. Price.

The above designations will be used in all official communications emanating from the headquarters of said corps. In the absence of the lieutenant-general commanding the senior officer present will exercise the immediate command of the army.

II. Each corps will consist of two divisions, to be denominated the First and Second Division; and each division to consist of two brigades, First and Second Brigades of such division of such corps.

III. Commanders of corps will organize the divisions at once in accordance with the above, observing so to arrange the brigades that there shall be at least one brigadier-general by commission to each division.

IV. All officers who may be relived from command of brigades by this order and all acting staff officers attached to their headquarters will immediately rejoin their respective regiments and companies.

V. Major-General Van Dorn resuming command of the First Corps of this army, Major General Mansfield Lovell is relived thereby, and not having been assigned to duty by the War Department will await further orders.

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By order of Lieutenant-General Pemberton:

R. W. MEMMINGER,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

LITTLE ROCK, December 8, 1862. (Received Richmond, December 9, 1862.)

General S. COOPER:

The movement from Helena reported by General Pemberton October 27 was no doubt a part of a force that about that time made a strong demonstration against the Post of Arkansas. It was to have been combined with a land force that actually reached White River, within 12 miles of the Post. The water movement failed and the whole withdrew. Helena has been re-enforced and is now occupied by 25,000 of the enemy. Hindman reported he would be engaged by dawn to-day near Cane Hill. McCulloch has but 6,000 effective, and these are the only troops that can possibly be sent away. Withdraw him (McCulloch) and the country is open from Helena, unless we occupy it by General Hindman's forces, in which case Frost Smith and the Indian country will be open to the forces now in front of Hindman.

It will take thirty days for McCulloch to reach Vicksburg, as much to return, and so long as amy be required to be of effect there for two months and a half. Then the enemy has us at his discretion.

With the above information before him, does the President insist on the order of the 29th ultimo. McCulloch is now engaged in preparations to march, and will be ready by the time I get your reply. Solemnly, under the circumstances, I regard the movement ordered as equivalent to abandoning Arkansas.