War of the Rebellion: Serial 042 Page 0533 Chapter XXXVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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CAMP WHARTON, December 25, 1863.

Captain W. A. ALSTON, Assistant Adjutant-General:

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to state that I am just in receipt of a letter from Brigadier-General McCulloch reporting, on what he regards reliable information, that the Indians and jayhawkers, together with Federal forces, 400 strong have penetrated the State as far as Gainesville, the county seat of Cook County.

Under the circumstances, I have taken the responsibility of addressing the inclosed communication to Brigadier-General McCulloch, and request of you that it be submitted to Major-General Magruder at the very earliest opportunity. Should the inclosed letter, a copy of which was sent by express to General McCulloch, not met the general's views, you will please transmit the revocation or modification to General McCulloch by first mail, in order that no confusion may ensue.

A copy of Brigadier-General McCulloch's letter is on file in assistant adjutant-general's office. Mr. King has been directed to forward it to you if you have not reached or have left Houston.

Since writing the above, I think, it best to inclose Brigadier-General McCulloch's letter.*

EDMUND P. TURNER,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure.]

CAMP WHARTON, December 25, 1863.

General McCULLOCH, Commanding Northern Sub-District:

GENERAL: No leave of absence or any other assignment in any way can be now granted. A letter has been written you to send all available forces to Houston at once.

You do not state what disposition has been made of the deserters under General Smith's orders.

You will proceed as rapidly as possible, personally in command, bringing with you De Morse's and Martin's regiments and the regiment of deserters, to Millican, sending forward couriers to report the time of your departure, when you will probably arrive at Dallas and each important station on the road, so that you can be diverted to Austin as circumstances render it necessary. You will keep a large number of picked men to hunt up deserters and prevent escape of the deserters, and say to your men that another part of the State has been invaded, and that these orders are now given.

If you meet the arms (the 300 Texas rifles) on the road, you can either turn them back or bring them down with you, or send them to Bonham to arms additional troops for the protection of the border. You will leave any artillery you may have, and not bring it down, but place it in charge of Colonel Bourland, or the ranking officer of the Frontier Regiment, who will be placed in command by you, and left to proceed to the border.

You will direct Colonel Baylor's command to come down to Houston at once.

Forty men of Griffin's regiment and same number of Gould's regiment have deserted with arms in their hands, and are supposed to have gone to the upper country. You will send out reliable and trustworthy men to arrest and bring in these deserters.

EDMUND P. TURNER,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

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*See McCulloch to Turner, December 22, 1863, p. 526.

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