strength of the works and advance the time of their completion. Major Douglas, who returned with me, leaves at once for Trinity to commence the Ouachita defenses. Brigadier-General Liddell has been directed to meet him at Trinity. As soon as the location of the works is fixed upon, General Mouton will post a brigade to cover them. Every preliminary arrangement to secure progress has been made, and it is expected that there will be no delay after the site is chosen. The rivers are still falling, and no new movement reported in the fleet lying in the Mississippi.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
ALEXANDRIA, January 25, 1864.
Brigadier General A. MOUNTON,
Commanding Second Division Infantry:
GENERAL: I have the honor to inform you that Major H. T. Douglas, chief engineer, Department Trans-Mississippi, leaves here to-day for the purpose of locating a siege for works for the defense of the Washita River country. He will probably select Harrisonburg or Trinity. The major-general commanding directs that as soon as Major Douglas has selected the point for this work, wherever it may be, and informs you of it, that without further orders from these headquarters you will dispose a part of your command to form a covering force for the working party. If at the time you are notified of the point selected Polignac's brigade is most convenient to the place, that brigade will constitute the covering force. If Mouton's brigade, however, should be nearest to the place selected for the works, it will form the covering force. If Trinity should be the point fixed for the contemplated works, the major-general commanding desires that you should have a small steam-boat on Little River, for the purpose of bringing out of these rivers forage for the troops and working party, and for the further purpose of establishing the depot of forage at some point on Little River that would be available for your command in the event of your marching this way. But General Liddell must be advised as soon as the covering force is in position, so that he can send down the negroes above Monroe destined for the works.
By command of Major-General Taylor:
A. H. MAY,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. DIST. OF TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA,
Galveston, January 25, 1864.
Lieutenant S. D. YANCEY,
Countermand the order and turn back the artillery companies ordered to Galveston that are from the reserve. Inform General Bee that Gibson's battery has been ordered to report to him at Mrs. Ewing's plantation, or if not there, then to Colonel Buchel. Major will be will remain at the mouth of the Bernard and bring his other section there. Jones' and Hughes' batteries, ordered to Galveston,