acquainted Steele, Reynolds, and Dana fully with my views, and the forces at my command will be disposed of to the best possible advantage. The position occupied by Magruder may either be regarded as threatening Steele's line of communication or indicating his old intention to cross the Mississippi. Three brigades of Reynold's troops have been sent to Steele, others to Paducah and Memphis, while the main force remains at the mouth of White River, under Reynold's own command, to watch the enemy and frustrate his plans as soon as they are developed. The country between the White River and Gaines' Landing, on both sides of the Mississippi, is constantly being scoured by Reynold's and Dana's cavalry patrols, and the gun-boats are kept moving night and day, so that I have great confidence in being able to prevent any troops from crossing. A rebel supply train which recently attempted to cross at Dardanelle was captured by Steele. I think he will be able to damage Price considerably, if the latter does not cross too high up the Arkansas. It was reported on the 10th that the enemy was threatening Natchez, and I have sent two infantry regiments there from Morganza, who will arrive in time should the place be attacked. My wounds are getting on very well, and the accident will not materially interfere with the direction of matters in this division.
E. R. S. CANBY,
WASHINGTON, November 12, 1864-12 noon.
Mouth of White River:
General Grant has ordered the divisions of A. J. Smith and Mower to re-enforce General Thomas on the Tennessee. This order must not be interfered with. General Grant desires that you will, if possible, destroy Beauregard's railroad communications in Mississippi. It is believed that but few rebel troops have been left in that State. General Steele, by allowing Price to twice pass his lines unharmed, has caused great dissatisfaction. You will report upon this, and, if necessary, will designate a new commander of more activity for that department.
H. W. HALLECK,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, November 12, 1864.
Brigadier General W. P. BENTON,
Commanding District of Baton Rouge and Port Hudson:
GENERAL: By direction of the major-general commanding, I have the honor to inform you that your plan, as represented in your letter of the 11th instant, transmitted through Captain Morey, acting assistant inspector-general, has been approved. Your attention is respectfully invited to the telegram sent this day.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. B. DRAKE,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
34 R R - VOL XLI, PT IV