scouting party," organized in accordance with Special Orders, Numbers 31, paragraph 3, from these headquarters, letters of instructions to Lieutenant I. N. Earl of the 6th of June and 15th of July last. You will find in those letters all the rules necessary for your guidance, and I have only to impress specially upon your mind the necessity of preserving the same good discipline amongst you men as was exercised by Lieutenant Earl. While bravery and dash are necessary qualifications in the execution of your important duties you must also exercise the necessary amount of carefulness and moderation, and keep in view the special duties for which the party was organized. The commanding general trusts that you will justify the confidence which he places in you and that your services will in every way prove as useful and satisfactory as those of Lieutenant Earl have been. Lieutenant Earl's clerk will be retained in his present position and no changes of whatsoever nature in your command will be made without instructions from these headquarters.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. T. CHRISTENSEN,
Lieutenant- Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, Numbers 170.
New Orleans, December 5, 1864.
In cases of offenses committed in the city of New Orleans by persons in the military service, and now triable before Major G . Norman Lieber, judge- advocate, under authority of General Orders, Numbers 77, current series, from these headquarters, Major Lieber is authorized to inflict such sentences as a field officer is entitled to inflict by authority of section 7, of the act of Congress approved July 17, 1862, with the exception of stoppage of pay. Commanding officers will respect and carry into execution such sentences.
By command of Major- General Hurlbut:
JOSEPH HIBBERT, JR.,
Captain and Assistant Adjutant- General.
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Brazos Santiago, Tex., December 5, 1864.
Major GEORGE B. DRAKE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Gulf:
MAJOR: I have the honor to state, for the information of the major- general commanding department, that the condition of things in this region of Texas is very much as it has been for months. Large quantities of cotton pass out through Mexico and immense quantities of supplies pass in by the same route. Brigadier-General Slaughter has relieved Colonel Ford of the command of the Brownsville District. He has about 3,000 men in Brownsville and is between here and there with fur pieces of field artillery. They come down in sight frequently and exchange shots with us across the Boca Chica Pass. We killed one of their favorite captains last week and one of his men; also wounded several others; nobody has been hurt by them. I send across to the mouth of the Rio Grande about twice per week. I am almost helpless, so far as expeditions on the mainland are concerned, for want of cavalry and pontoons with which to cross the Boca Chica Pass. If I had 500 cavalry I could inflict material damage on Slaughter; perhaps make a raid into Brownsville itself. Can 500 cavalry be sent me! Is it desired