miles distant at Shreveport, was trembling for his depots and work-shops, and both he and his staff had removed their personal effects into Texas preparatory to the evacuation of Shreveport. Great as were the results of the battle of Mansfield they are insignificant compared with what they would have been had not General Smith, after Taylor had saved him and his department, taken away the greater part of his infantry to commence a pursuit of Steele. In vain did General Taylor implore him not to throw away an opportunity of destroying Banks' army and Porter's fleet which as unexampled in its advantages. In vain did he argue that a pursuit of Steele was objectless, because he would necessarily hurry back to his fortifications at Little Rock when he heard of Bank's disaster, and that he (Steele) was already 110 miles away. He would listen to nothing but the whispers of his parasites, that Taylor had snatched glory from him at Mansfield. The result of the movement into Arkansas was the battle of Jenkins' Ford, memorable in he trans-Mississippi a the only battle in the campaign that we lost, and still further memorable as the only battle in which General Smith has been since he came over here, the single time he has been in the field. Yet to him is attributed the salvation of this department and the people of this State and department, whose hearts have been wrung by witnessing his imbecility and childishness, his contemptuous disregard of advantages (or rather his inability to comprehend them), and who have recently been appalled by the undeniable truth that this whole country was literally thrown away by him, and but for his subordinate would at this day be under Yankee rule. These people are told in the report of the Secretary of War that they do not know their own minds; that General Smith has their confidence, &c. We are told this who know that but for General Taylor disaster would have overtaken us long ago, who know that things have prospered just in the proportion and to the extent that General Taylor's advise has ben taken, and whenever it has been disregarded the result has demonstrated his wisdom. As early as last December the Governor of Louisiana addressed a letter to the Congressional delegation, telling them that unless a change of our department commander were made, or there was a change in his policy, the State would be overrun in six months. In the beginning of April the parishes of Caddo and Bossier were all that was left of it. General Taylor recovered it almost against orders. That officer is now under arrest because he was resolved he would resign his commission rather than serve another campaign under Kirby Smith. I cannot convey to you any proper conception of the gloom, the despair, that settled upon men's minds when news of this event became known. The people of this State cling to Taylor as the very sheet anchor of their salvation. They abused and maligned him at first, and their present adoration of and confidence in him is perhaps intensified by that circumstance. But he has indeed accomplished great things for them, and if he be removed I believe they will give up in despair. Will you not come to the assistance of your State in this her hour of need by using your influence to retain General Taylor, and, by consequence, to relieve us of that incubus at department headquarters which has so long pressed upon our energies? General Smith can b made useful on the other side, it is said. So be it, then. His usefulness here is at an end, or, rather, it never had a beginning. I pray you, general, help us in this our extremity.
I am, very truly, your friend and servant,
M. C. MANNING.
63 R R-VOL XLI, PT II