means which the law places at my disposal for the defense of the country.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER
POST OF COLUMBIA,
December 21, 1863.
Captain EDMUND P. TURNER
Asst. Adjt. General, McNeel's Farm, Brazoria County, Texas:
CAPTAIN: I am just informed that a part of Colonel Hobby's regiment are in open rebellion to orders, by refusing to obey their officers to cross the river to march to Galveston. Three companies of Major (now Lieutenant-Colonel) Shea's old battalion have nobly responded and crossed the river, and perhaps also a part of other companies. The officers, I learn are all determined to march, but Major Ireland informs me that he is powerless to enforce the order, and my force is too small to do so.
This rebellion to orders has happened too often, and if I had the force I should at once repress it in this instance, but as it is, with my small company, I apprehend trouble in keeping the town in order. The men are loose upon the streets with their arms, and, or course, united in their intention to resist any attempt to arrest them. I shall do all in my power to preserve order, and more than that, I find them dispersing in squads.
WILLIAM G. WEBB,
Captain Commanding Post.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &C.,
McNeel's Plantation, December 21, 1863-12.30 p.m.
Colonel JAMES DUFF,
COLONEL: I am instructed by the major-general commanding to say to you that some 60 men of Colonel Hobby's regiment deserted their colors this morning, taking with them their arms. The regiment was near Columbia at the time, and the men are reported to have gone to-ward Victoria. The major-general commanding directs that you send out two companies of your regiment (selecting the truest and best for the purpose) as follows: One for the Wharton road, from Texana, in the direction of Wharton, and the other in the direction of Elliott's Ferry.
Both of these companies will be directed to proceed along these roads until they respectively reach Wharton and Elliott's Ferry, unless these men are met before reaching these places. Should they not meet these deserters, one company will await their arrival at Wharton and the other at Elliott's Ferry. You will direct the commanding officer of these companies to arrest the progress of these deserters, capture them, and bring them, with their hands bound, to these headquarters. You will instruct the commanding officers of companies to shoot them down to a man, should they resist or refuse to surrender, or attempt to make their escape-after being captured. You will charge your men to get these deserters at all hazards. Should these deserters have passed Texana, you will send these companies on rapidly after them, with