War of the Rebellion: Serial 042 Page 0492 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX.Chapter XXXVIII.

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On Caney, December 7, 1863.

Brigadier- General BEE,

Commanding First Division:

GENERAL: The major- general commanding desires to know accurately the position of you troops. He is surprised that he has heard nothing from you in regard to their movements since he left you. He desires you in future, without further orders, to keep him always posted as to the locality and condition of your forces. Inform him by swift courier where your troops are, in order that he may halt them or order a rapid advance, as information from the front may justify. The infantry must make the march at all events. He has sent a reliable officer and men down the peninsula to ascertain with accuracy the precise facts. These he will probably learn to- night at Hawkins' (Ferry) Landing on the Caney River, and if he knew where your troops are, he could give the orders at what point to stop the cavalry and artillery.

Send a courier to Mr. Greenville McNeel's, via Hawkins' Ferry, as soon as you receive this. Should anything have occurred on the part of the enemy indicating an advance from Saluria, it should have been reported promptly; any other cause of delay should have been reported. In short, everything connected with the march of troops or the occurrence of any obstacle should be reported at once.

The general desires me to say that he delayed one day on his route to transact business; also in the hope of seeing you. He is uneasy about Hobby's regiment, which he is informed is in a very unsatisfactory state. He will send a courier from Hawkins' to- night, at which place he hopes to receive such accurate information as to issue definite orders in regard to the movements of Duff's regiment and the artillery. The infantry is designed for coast service, and under all circumstances must come, and without delay.

The general desires you to conform with his plan, which is this:Should the enemy advance by the beach to Velasco, he will dispute the passage of the San Bernard at its mouth with a portion of his troops, protected by the sand hills from the enemy's gunboats, whilst with the main body he will attack his flank and rear between the San Bernard and the Caney, and mingle his troops with those of the enemy to get rid of the fire of their ships. Should the enemy not advance, he will fortify both at the San Bernard and at the Caney promptly, and dispatch troops to the west.

Green's and Major's brigades are on the march to Texas, via Niblett's Bluff.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Adjutant- General.


Hawkins' Ferry, December 7, 1863- 8.30 . m.

Brigadier- General BEE,

Commanding First Division:

GENERAL: I am instructed by Major- General Magruder to say that the information in regard to the enemy's movements on the peninsula is not yet quite certain, but from the best information in his possession he is inclined to believe that the enemy will not march up the peninsula, at present at least, and that therefore you will halt Duff's regi