War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 0595 Chapter LIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,

New Orleans, November 17, 1864.

Brigadier-General BENTON, Baton Rouge:

Have you any report from Lee?

S. A. HURLBUT,

Major-General, Commanding.

BATON ROUGE, November 17, 1864.

(Received 7.30 p. m.)

Major General S. A. HURLBUT:

The expedition was delayed at least twenty-four hours in starting by reason of the officer who was to capture Hodge backing down and coming back the next evening. We started nine privates on the same mission. Five of them returned to-day. They report that they got within two or three miles of Hodge's quarters, when, about 4 p. m Tuesday, they were attacked by twenty-five men, whom they fought and drove off, killing three. In crossing the river they had to pass a rebel guard, who became suspicious and chased them some distance. They killed the leader, a lieutenant-colonel. The other four men took the woods during the fight. No one was hurt. No news from any of the columns.

W. P. BENTON,

Brigadier-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,

New Orleans, La., November 17, 1864.

Captain MOREY,

Asst. Adjt. General, on board steamer Olive Branch, off Morganza:

You will deliver the following dispatch to General Raynolds, to be read and forwarded by him:

Major General STEELE,

Little Rock, Ark.:

Your dispatch of the 10th received. No land transportation can be sent at present either from Memphis or below, and if the Arkansas River cannot be safely relied upon as a means of transportation to Fort Smith, that post will at once be broken up and the supplies, &c., transferred to Little Rock.

E. R. S. CANBY,

Major-General, Commanding.

Should, by any possibility, the Olive Branch have passed Morganza, General Lawler is requested to send this dispatch by special boat to mouth of White River, to be opened by General Reynolds.

C. T. CHRISTENSEN,

Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,

New Orleans, La., November 17, 1864.

Major General J. J. REYNOLDS, Mouth of White River, Ark.:

So soon as the emergency in Arkansas has passed you will please send back your troops to Morganza as fast as possible. You will understand the necessity for this, in connection with previous dispatches sent you. Advise Steele accordingly.

E. R. S. CANBY,

Major-General, Commanding.