War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 1084 W. FLA., S.ALA.,S.MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXVII.

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question of and necessity for leaving a portion of your command had been fully weighed before sending your orders. By your delay at Monroe you have defeated the possibility of a junction with Taylor at Natchitoches. General Taylor will be driven back to Shreveport, at which point there is possibly yet time for you to effect a junction with his command.

You will march immediately by Minden to this point as rapidly as the condition of your troops will allow. I have ordered supplies sent by boat to Minden for the use of your command.

I have no report from General Taylor since the 11th; he was then at Natchitoches, preparing to evacuate the place. Your junction with him being of the most vital importance you can change your line of march according to any instructions you may receive from General Taylor, rendering your junction certain with him below this post.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. KIRBY SMITH,

Lieutenant-General, Commanding.

P. S.-Information having been received that abundant supplies can be obtained near Minden, an officer will be sent to collect these supplies for your command instead of sending a boat from here.

Very respectfully,

W. R. BOGGS,

Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI,

Shreveport, La., May 14, 1863.

Brigadier General W. R. SCURRY, Houston, Tex.:

GENERAL: At the last information received from General Taylor he was prepared to evacuate Natchitoches. General Banks, with a column estimated at 28,000 was pressing up the valley of Red River. General Taylor has but a handful of men under his command. The re-enforcement expected from Arkansas cannot arrive in time to effect a junction with General Taylor at Shreveport, and in all probability the valley of Red River up to Jefferson with fall into the possession of the enemy.

The enemy are acting in the most ruthless manner. Their avowed determination is to prevent the raising of crops in the valley of Red River. They do not expect to retain possession of the country, and should be made to suffer for their temerity in venturing so far from their base. Should they reach this section Eastern Texas will be endangered. All the infantry force ordered to Niblett's Bluff, with all the disposable force throughout the District of Texas, should be concentrated immediately at Nacogdoches, or at some point in that vicinity, where supplies for their subsistence can be collected and where they threaten Banks' communication. The people of Eastern Texas should be organized in minute companies. The danger is great and near at hand, and no effort should be spared in your district to prepare to meet the emergency.

If Major-General Magruder has returned it will be well for him to use his influence and popularity in stirring up the people throughout the State, and he had better take command of the force, if he can organize one, which concentrate in the vicinity of Nacogdoches.

By command of Lieutenant-General Smith:

W. R. BOGGS,

Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.