The want of a sufficient force for active and efficient operation in the command of Lieutenant-General Smith makes not only desirable, but necessary, a draft upon the troops at present under your immediate orders in Arkansas. At least four brigades of Texas troops will be required for the Southwestern Army, and, looking at the composition of your forces, as rendered in your synoptical list of recent date, it is thought that the division of General McCulloch, comprising the brigades under Colonels Young, Randal, and Flournoy, all Texas infantry, with a brigade of Texas cavalry, under Brigadier-General Hawes, would, by their withdrawal from your command, least derange your organization, as represented in that list. General Smith will send a staff officer to your headquarters to confer with you on this subject, and it is hoped you will give such facilities on this point as will contribute in carrying into effect the wishes and views of the President.
I am, general, very respectfully, &c., your obedient servant,
Adjutant and Inspector General.
ADJT. AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 11.
Richmond, Va., January 14, 1863.
* * * * * *
XVIII. Lieutenant General E. Kirby Smith is assigned to the command of the Southwestern Army, embracing the Departments of West Louisiana and Texas. The geographical limits of this command will hereafter be separate and distinct from the command of the Trans-Mississippi Department, named in previous orders.
Lieutenant-General Smith will proceed, with his staff, to Alexandria, La., and assume this command.
* * * * * *
By command of the Secretary of War:
HDQRS. 1ST DIV., 1ST CORPS, TRANS-MISSISSIPPI ARMY,
Fort Smith, Ark., January 14, 1863.
Colonel R. C. NEWTON, Chief of Staff:
COLONEL: Colonel Speight reports this morning the capture of 20 men of his rear guard last evening, some 15 miles from here, on the Louisiana Railroad, by a company of the enemy, some 30 strong, said to be under the command of a Captain Martin D. Hart, a renegade Texan. Steps will be taken the pursue and punish this party, if possible. This bold step, and the fact of there being many sympathizers scattered through the country, must necessarily endanger, if not cut off, communication with your headquarters. The general commanding respectfully suggests that, if possible, a vigilant and constant patrol should be kept up along this line of communication.
By direction of Brigadier-General Steele:
J. F. CROSBY,
P. S.--The absence of any forage at this post renders the cavalry here of little service.