men. The horses are in the neighborhood of that place. I would suggest that you require a field return from each regiment and battery for your information, which will give you their strength and location.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. R. TARVER,
HOUSTON, March 17, 1864.
The last paragraph in letter of March 16, 1864, which relates to Captain Stevens, was appended to that letter by mistake in the office and is revoked. In addition to the instructions in that letter you will be guided by the following: You will remember that the line of retreat is on Richmond, and that Hallettsville, &c., are only mentioned as placed through which you might be forced by circumstances to march on your way to Columbus. For instance, should the enemy land at Trespalacios, and you should not be informed, as you ought to be, in time to reach Wharton before he does, your only route to the east would seem by the map to be by Hallettsville, in which case you will march by Columbus with the utmost rapidity, and crossing the Brazos above Richmond take post at Richmond, unless by a rapid march and guided by the movements of the enemy you might reach Richmond before him by taking the direct earth-road from Columbus to Richmond. Should there be any doubt of this your horses could be sent to cross the Brazos above Richmond, and your men taken by railroad from Columbus to Richmond before the enemy could arrive at the latter place. Recollect, in all cases, if pursued by the enemy, to thoroughly destroy the bridges and boats over any stream which you have passed. In addition to the dispatch of couriers to Colonel Bates, in the case of the enemy's marching to Texana, you will send separate couriers to the commanding officer of the flotilla at Matagorda, and also separate couriers, in case the enemy marches east from Texana, for the information of that officer. Should the enemy, however, march on Victoria you will remain near Texana to ascertain if he will take the road to Hallettsville or the road to Clinton and Gonzales. If to Hallettsville, you will fall back to Richmond as before directed. If to Clinton, you will endeavor to cut his communications and destroy his wagons, hanging on his rear and flanks, making prisoners of stragglers, &c., in all cases giving information to Colonel Bates, the commanding officer of the flotilla, and these headquarters.
To accomplish this the stores should be removed from Clinton and Victoria to your position on the Navidad as soon as possible, firstly from Victoria. You will likewise send a courier to Colonel Ford, wherever he may be, to inform him of the movements of the enemy, giving your opinion from time to time of the objects of their movements. Colonel Ford will have orders to communicate his position and those of his troops to you from time to time. An order will be published placing you in command of a district comprising that portion of the country east of the San Antonio River and a line due north from San Antonio, and west of the Colorado River, excluding San Antonio and Helena as depots, which will be attached to Colonel