War of the Rebellion: Serial 042 Page 0071 Chapter XXXVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

avoided. The weather, unfortunately, prevented this consummation, and my public duties called me to Port isabel, where I was at the time of this occurrence.

It is due to myself to state that, although the conduct of the soldiers of the United States on the Mexican side of the river was calculated to incense and enrage my troops, all sorts of insulting messages and epithets being sent across the river, yet my orders were most positive to prevent all illegal crossing, and my troops were urged to bear with calmness, for the honor of their country, all these outrages. I have ordered a military commission to sit at once, to examine all the facts connected with this affair, and to endeavor to ascertain who wee concerned in it, for up to this time I have failed to obtain any official knowledge on these points. The action being without orders, the participants, for their own safety, seek all possible concealment, and only by a military investigation can the truth be elicited. The prisoners spoken of by you are not in my possession, but are evidently concealed by those who captured them. Proper steps are being taken to ascertain where they are, and when that shall be ascertained, Your Excellency will be informed of my determination.

I have deemed it proper to make this hurried statement without waiting for the official facts, in deference to Your Excellency's urgent request for a speedy answer, and that no time might be lost in tendering my official disavowal of the proceedings.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,

H. P. BEE,

Brigadier-General, Provisional Army.

HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,

Shreveport, La., June 17, 1863.

General S. COOPER, Richmond:

GENERAL: I have the honor to forward herewith Major-General Taylor's report of the operations of his forces in Northern Louisiana, from the 3rd to the 8th of June. I respectfully call the attention of the War Department to the ability and energy displayed by that gallant officer in the discharge of this duties as district commander.

Major-General Walker's division, Tappan's brigade, together with Colonel [Isaac F.] Harrison's and Colonel [Frank A.] Bartlett's commands of cavalry, are still in the country opposite Vicksburg. Major-General Taylor, with his forces in Lower Louisiana, is personally superintending the operations of this side of the mississippi for the relief of Port Hudson. He has been instructed to throw provisions into Port Hudson and Vicksburg whenever it is possible to do so. Under my instruction, he has placed himself in communication with General Johnston, and he will use every effort to co-operate with him in his operations for the defense and relief of Vicksburg and Port Hudson.

E. KIRBY SMITH,

Lieutenant-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. DISTRICT OF TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA,

Houston, Tex., June 17, 1863.

Brigadier-General BEE, Commanding Western Sub-District:

SIR: I am instructed by Major-General Magruder to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 12th of June, 1863, and in reply