War of the Rebellion: Serial 042 Page 0245 Chapter XXXVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,

Shreveport, La., September 20, 1863.

Major General J. B. MAGRUDER,

Commanding District of Texas, &c.:

GENERAL: I have a blank commission from the Department at Richmond to fit out and send to sea a cruiser, in charge of some naval officer. This was given at the time the ship at the mouth of the Rio Grande was supposed to be suitable for a war vessel.

By direction of Commodore Brent, C. S. Navy, and commandant of naval affairs west of the Mississippi, Lieutenant Wharton, C. S. Navy, proceeds to Texas for the purpose of examining the vessels captured at Sabine Pass. I desire that every facility should be given Lieutenant Wharton for such examination, so that in the event of either of them being fitted for sea purpose, being of sufficient draught and too deep for the defenses of the channels on the sea-coast, or not needed by you for that purpose, one or both of them may be commissioned as cruisers and sent to sea immediately.

I am, general, respectfully, yours, &c.,

E. KIRBY SMITH,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WESTERN LOUISIANA,

Alexandria, September 21, 1863.

Major General J. B. MAGRUDER,

Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to inform you that the expedition lately at Sabine Pass is now at Berwick Bay, having come through New Orleans. My own conviction is that this force will take boats from the bay for some part of your district. Franklin joined Ord and Herron at Berwick on the 18th instant.

I will endeavor to keep you informed and do all in my power to assist you. The enemy cannot march on Niblett's without first driving me north of Red River. In truth, I do not think he will attempt it. General Price is falling back down the Washita before a superior force, and I have just received orders from department headquarters to move Walker's division of infantry and Major's cavalry to Natchitoches, there to await orders. I shall, however, hold them in hand to check Franklin, unless I receive other orders after the lieutenant-general is advised of affairs at Berwick.

In view of the present state of affairs, I think you had best retain Pyron's regiment in Texas. I presume they would march by Niblett's and possibly may be in the position you want them. Perhaps it would be well to let the regiment know that it is retained in Texas at my suggestion.

I have the honor to remain, your obedient servant,

R. TAYLOR,

Major-General.

[HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &C.,

Sabine Pass, September 21, 1863.]

Brigadier-General SCURRY,

Commanding Eastern Sub-District, Houston:

Order Terrell's regiment at once to Liberty. Direct commanding officer of Terrell's regiment to send for horses of the regiment to meet him at Liberty.