War of the Rebellion: Serial 042 Page 0477 Chapter XXXVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.- CONFEDERATE.

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been reiterated more recently to the lieutenant- general commanding. I have since heard from him, and shall see him probably to- morrow in Alexandria, and feel assured a portion of the force here will be ordered to your assistance.

I trust you will at once provide supplies and forage for General Green's division, at least at Niblett's Bluff, or send as much as you can provide transportation for on the road to meet him.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. TAYLOR,

Major- General, Commanding, &c.

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY DIVISION,

Vermillionville, La., December 4, 1863.

General [MAGRUDER]:

Your kind letter of the 29th ultimo was received by me yesterday, through the hands of Lieutenant [T. B.] Wheeler, of Davidson's battalion. I have been watching with great interest for all the news in relation to the movements of the enemy in Texas since the invasion by Banks, and I assure you I am exceedingly anxious to be ordered there with my division of cavalry, to assist in defending my own State. I have about 2,000 men of my division now in Texas, who have either gone there on sick furlough and never returned, or who have skulked and gone off without leave. The troops which I have with me, about 2,000 effective and for duty, are now veterans, and can be depended on under any circumstances. If they were in Texas, they would form a nucleus around whom the new troops would rally and stand. If I were in Texas, I would be able to gather up my straggler, and could offer you 3,000 or 4,000 excellent troops either for fighting on horseback or on foot.

The troops under my command have been under fire a great many times, many of them, as you know, beginning with the New Mexican campaign. They would certainly be worth more to you than any troops west of the Mississippi. The esprit de corps of the old brigade of Sibley (now Bagby's) is about as "toploftical" as you would find in our army. Major's brigade are also fine troops, under his management. I feel very much obliged to you, general, for the kind and flattering manner in which you mention my services, and I shall try to continue to deserve your good opinion.

I am greatly indebted to General Taylor for his kindness and confidence in me, and to him I am, no doubt, indebted for the promotion of brigadier- general, when I had long since abandoned all idea of such promotion. Since I have been placed in command of all General Taylor's cavalry, I have led an active life, and have done a good deal of work, and I hope some of it for the benefit of our cause. It might look to General Taylor ungrateful in me to desire to leave his command and go to Texas, but I hope you will have him and his command with you, as he writes to me that he had offered to take or send to you 7,000 troops. General Taylor has about 10,000 excellent troops. Walker's division (all Texans) are the best infantry I ever saw. I have ad three of his regiments with me under fire, one of them (the Fifteenth) in two fights. They are well drilled, and come beautifully up to time in battle. I sincerely hope you may get General Taylor's army to re- enforce you.

I have been skirmishing with the enemy at New Iberia, 22 miles from this place, nearly every day for ten days, under great disadvantages- the enemy's cavalry never leaving their infantry when I am in force, and, watching their opportunity and dashing on my pickets, which I