HDQRS. DIST. OF TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA,
Houston, January 22, 1864-5 p. m.
Brigadier General H. P. BEE,
Commanding Army in the Field:
GENERAL: Information had just reached the commanding general of the landing of the enemy bellow the mouth of the Cany. He directs me to instruct you to prevent the enemy from gaining possession of the mouth of the Caney, if possible. You will order Captain Marmion to attack him from the bay. Should you be able you will drive him off, but you will bear in mind that if you advance down the peninsula to attack him he will probably send troops in your rear, east of the Caney, if possible. The major-general commanding thinks this movement of the enemy on the peninsula a feint to draw troops and attention from Galveston. The order sent you to-day directed you to keep your troops in readiness to move at a moment's warning to Columbia, except the troops on and near the coast between Cany and Velasco, inclusive, and Duff's regiment.
Twenty thousand Yankees arrived a few days since at the mouth of the Mississippi River, destined for Texas. If many transports loaded with troops have passed west, this expedition may have gone or may go there to re-enforce the enemy confronting you. Galveston will probably be attacked in great force, and the major-general commanding thinks this expedition is intended for that place. He leaves for Galveston in the morning with Green's division, dismounted, but will return in two days if it is not attacked.
The major-general commanding directs that you inform him if any transports with troops have passed west, and at what time. You will defend the mouth of Caney, Bernard,and Brazos, but must exercise your own judgement. The enemy may wish to get possession of our works at the mouth of Caney by a combined attack of land and river forces. This you will prevent, if possible, at the same time keeping an eye on the rest of the coast. In the mean time you will keep the major-general commanding informed of your movements and those of the enemy.
I am, &c.,
S. D. YANCEY,
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., January 23, 1864.
Major General J. B. MAGRUDER:
GENERAL: In the reply to your letter of the 66th, allusion was made to your plan as presented, of using the prize vessels Harriet Lane, Clifton, bark Cavallo, and revenue cutter Dodge, for the purpose of exporting cotton and securing the arms from Vera Cruz. In my answer the ground was taken that such procedure as you proposed would be an assumption of authority, more properly taken (if assumed at all) by the commanding general on the spot, fully cognizant of all the facts, as also the necessities of the military service. My attention has been called to the fact that as the appearance of these vessels in any foreign port prior to the recognition of our nationality might involve their seizure, their sale now by the C. S. marshal, under a decree of admiralty court, would prevent the Government