War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 0768 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS- MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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that I should do anything ont he mainland! How many men will be sent here before Christmas! I would like to take a command to Brownsville, if it is the intention of the military authorities to occupy this coast; if not, I desire to be transferred to another command.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. A. PILE,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

P. S.- Four deserters have just come in from Slaughter's command. He is camped at Palmetto, about fifteen miles from the mouth of the river. He has with him Benavides' regiment (mounted), Giddings' regiment (mounted), Showalter's regiment (mounted), Ford's regiment (mounted), Jones' battery; in all, about 1,500 men. I have no apprehensions of an attack, although they make threats.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. A. PILE,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

[First indorsement.][

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,

New Orleans, La., December 11, 1864.

Respectfully forwarded to headquarters Military Division of West Mississippi, for the information of the commanding general.

S. A. HURLBUT,

Major- General, Commanding.

[Second indorsement.]

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,

New Orleans, La., December 14, 1864.

Respectfully returned to the commanding general Department of the Gulf.

There is no probability of any more troops being sent to Brazos Santiago before Christmas. General Pile will be instructed that the first duty of an officer is to do the best he can with the means at his command, and not to ask to be relieved because his superior officers may find it impracticable or inexpedient to increase his resources.

By order of Major General E. R. S. Canby:

C. T. CHRISTENSEN,

Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,

New Orleans, La., December 5, 1864.

Major General F. STEELE,

Commanding Department of Arkansas, Little Rock, Ark:

Unless instructions to that effect have already been given, the major- general commanding directs that orders be at once issued for the evacuation of Fort Smith and dependencies, and the withdrawal to Little Rock of all the troops, supplies, &c. As a matter of course, everything at and about the fort that might be of use to the enemy will be destroyed.

C. T. CHRISTENSEN,

Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant- General.