and it is through will operate from that point or Natchez. A heavy cavalry force will move very soon, if it has already moved, from Berwick Bay, and General Holmes reports Steele's command industriously preparing for active operations at Little Rock. I am instructed to say that General Green's command should have been pushed across with the utmost dispatch, and have been by this time well on its way to Alexandria. General taylor has only one regiment of cavalry south of Red River with which to meet the column from Berwick bay. The lieutenant-general commanding directs that you hold the remainder of your force, except the necessary garrisons, ready to move, and should necessity require a further concentration of troops from your district you can adopt your own views as to the propriety of moving across in person with the troops which may be required of you. In this connection your attention is called to that portion of General Taylor's letter of the 6th instant which relates to your being assigned to duty in the District of West Louisiana.* The commanding general feels confident there will be no operations in your district very soon, and that you will have ample time for the organization of your State forces.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant and Aide-de-Camp.
HOUSTON, March 12, 1864.
Major General J. B. MAGRUGER,
General Smith telegraphs to push General Green's division forward as rapidly as possible to Louisiana; that in addition Brown's and Pyron's regiments be ordered to proceed there also; to send couriers forward urging upon General Green the necessity of his moving as rapidly as possible, and directing him to send forward couriers to General Taylor acquainting him of his progress. I have telegraphed to him condition of Brown's regiment and suggest to substitute Woods'.
J. E. SLAUGHTER,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.
HDQRS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &C., Numbers 72.
Houston, March 12, 1864.
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IV. Brigadier General W. Steele will proceed without delay to Galveston, Tex., and relieve Brigadier General J. P. Major in command of the defenses of that point.
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XVI. Brigadier General H. P. Bee, commanding army in the field, will proceed without delay with his whole available force of cavalry and artillery (reducing the garrisons to the minimum number) to Livingston, Polk County; thence to Moscow, Boon's Ferry, Zavala, Burr's Ferry, Huddleston, and Hineston to Alexandria, La., reporting upon arrival to Major-General Taylor. He will keep him constantly
* See Part I, p. 488.